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A Christmas Carol
I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. Their faithful Friend and Servant, C. D. December, 1843.
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A Christmas Carol
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Stave 1: Marley’s Ghost
Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a doornail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffinnail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad
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and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain. old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint. Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge. Scrooge never painted out Old Marley’s name. There it stood. It was all the same to him. upon his own ramparts. 4 of 138 . clutching. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet’s Father died before the play began. scraping. The firm was known as Scrooge and Marley. This must be distinctly understood. or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley. but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral. and sometimes Marley. Scrooge! a squeezing. but he answered to both names. years afterwards. grasping.A Christmas Carol event. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire. covetous. in an easterly wind. than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot — say Saint Paul’s Churchyard for instance — literally to astonish his son’s weak mind. The mention of Marley’s funeral brings me back to the point I started from.stone. Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind. there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night. wrenching.
and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose. no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place. no wintry weather chill him. and Scrooge never did.A Christmas Carol secret. They often ‘came down’ handsomely. no pelting rain less open to entreaty. he iced his office in the dogdays. Even the blind men’s dogs appeared to know him. and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas. ‘My dear Scrooge. with gladsome looks. and on his eyebrows. nipped his pointed nose. how are you? When will you come to see me?’ No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle. The cold within him froze his old features. No warmth could warm. could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. of Scrooge. made his eyes red. The heaviest rain. no children asked him what it was o’clock. would tug their owners into doorways 5 of 138 . stiffened his gait. and solitary as an oyster. He carried his own low temperature always about with him. External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. Foul weather didn’t know where to have him. and his wiry chin. No wind that blew was bitterer than he. and sleet. and hail. and self-contained. shrivelled his cheek. and snow. his thin lips blue. and when they saw him coming on. Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say. A frosty rime was on his head.
on Christmas Eve — old Scrooge sat busy in his countinghouse. 6 of 138 . was what the knowing ones call ‘nuts’ to Scrooge. The city clocks had only just gone three. ‘No eye at all is better than an evil eye. and was so dense without. like ruddy smears upon the palpable brown air. bleak.A Christmas Carol and up courts. dark master!’ But what did Scrooge care! It was the very thing he liked. and then would wag their tails as though they said. To see the dingy cloud come drooping down. that although the court was of the narrowest. obscuring everything. and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. the houses opposite were mere phantoms. and was brewing on a large scale. go wheezing up and down. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life. but it was quite dark already — it had not been light all day — and candles were flaring in the windows of the neighbouring offices. The fog came pouring in at every chink and keyhole. Once upon a time — of all the good days in the year. It was cold. warning all human sympathy to keep its distance. beating their hands upon their breasts. biting weather: foggy withal: and he could hear the people in the court outside. one might have thought that Nature lived hard by.
this nephew of Scrooge’s. I am sure?’ 7 of 138 . that he was all in a glow. who in a dismal little cell beyond. his face was ruddy and handsome. for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room. in which effort.A Christmas Carol The door of Scrooge’s counting-house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk. but the clerk’s fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal. the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part. and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel. But he couldn’t replenish it. and tried to warm himself at the candle. not being a man of a strong imagination. who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach. ‘Humbug!’ He had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost. he failed. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter. uncle! God save you!’ cried a cheerful voice. was copying letters. ‘Christmas a humbug. Scrooge had a very small fire. ‘Bah!’ said Scrooge. ‘You don’t mean that. ‘A merry Christmas. and his breath smoked again. a sort of tank. It was the voice of Scrooge’s nephew. his eyes sparkled. uncle!’ said Scrooge’s nephew.
then. ‘keep Christmas in your own way. and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. ‘every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips. said ‘Bah!’ again.A Christmas Carol ‘I do.’ returned the uncle. should be boiled with his own pudding.’ said Scrooge.’ Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment.’ 8 of 138 .’ returned the nephew gaily. ‘What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough. ‘Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough. but not an hour richer.’ said Scrooge indignantly. and followed it up with ‘Humbug. uncle!’ said the nephew. He should!’ ‘Uncle!’ pleaded the nephew. a time for balancing your books and having every item in ‘em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will. a time for finding yourself a year older. and let me keep it in mine.’ ‘Come. ‘Nephew!’ returned the uncle sternly. ‘What else can I be. ‘when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money.’ ‘Don’t be cross.
by which I have not profited. pleasant time: the only time I know of. Becoming immediately sensible of the impropriety. God bless it!’ The clerk in the Tank involuntarily applauded. and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. uncle. ‘But you don’t keep it. if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time.’ returned the nephew. a kind. in the long calendar of the year. forgiving. when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely. And therefore. then.A Christmas Carol ‘Keep it!’ repeated Scrooge’s nephew. and will do me good. he poked the fire. 9 of 138 . charitable. though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket. ‘Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!’ ‘There are many things from which I might have derived good. ‘Christmas among the rest. and I say. and extinguished the last frail spark for ever. and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time. I believe that it has done me good. I dare say.’ said Scrooge.’ ‘Let me leave it alone. when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin.
why cannot we be friends?’ ‘Good afternoon. ‘I am sorry.’ said Scrooge. We have never had any quarrel. I ask nothing of you. ‘Good afternoon!’ ‘Nay. sir. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas. 10 of 138 . uncle. indeed he did.’ he added. ‘I want nothing from you. ‘Because I fell in love.A Christmas Carol ‘Let me hear another sound from you. as if that were the only one thing in the world more ridiculous than a merry Christmas.’ Scrooge said that he would see him — yes. to find you so resolute. uncle. ‘I wonder you don’t go into Parliament. ‘Why?’ ‘Why did you get married?’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. turning to his nephew. ‘But why?’ cried Scrooge’s nephew. He went the whole length of the expression. to which I have been a party. and said that he would see him in that extremity first.’ said Scrooge. Come! Dine with us tomorrow.’ ‘Don’t be angry. Why give it as a reason for not coming now?’ ‘Good afternoon. ‘and you’ll keep your Christmas by losing your situation! You’re quite a powerful speaker.’ ‘Because you fell in love!’ growled Scrooge. but you never came to see me before that happened. with all my heart.
I believe.’ said Scrooge.’ said one of the gentlemen. who cold as he was. uncle!’ ‘Good afternoon. ‘Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr. with their hats off. ‘He died seven years ago. I’ll retire to Bedlam.’ Scrooge replied. or Mr.’ muttered Scrooge. His nephew left the room without an angry word. pleasant to behold. for he returned them cordially. He stopped at the outer door to bestow the greetings of the season on the clerk. referring to his list. who overheard him: ‘my clerk.’ This lunatic. with fifteen shillings a week. and now stood. ‘There’s another fellow. Scrooge. They had books and papers in their hands. had let two other people in. and a wife and family. and bowed to him. in letting Scrooge’s nephew out. this very night.’ said Scrooge. Marley?’ ‘Mr. ‘And A Happy New Year!’ ‘Good afternoon. in Scrooge’s office.A Christmas Carol and I’ll keep my Christmas humour to the last. talking about a merry Christmas. was warmer than Scrooge.’ 11 of 138 . So A Merry Christmas. notwithstanding. Marley has been dead these seven years. They were portly gentlemen. ‘Scrooge and Marley’s.
At the ominous word ‘liberality. Mr.’ ‘The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour. hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts.’ returned the gentleman. and shook his head. and handed the credentials back.’ Scrooge frowned. Scrooge. It certainly was. ‘Are they still in operation?’ ‘They are. laying down the pen again.A Christmas Carol ‘We have no doubt his liberality is well represented by his surviving partner. ‘Plenty of prisons. taking up a pen. for they had been two kindred spirits.’ 12 of 138 . ‘I wish I could say they were not.’ ‘Are there no prisons?’ asked Scrooge.’ said the gentleman. who suffer greatly at the present time. ‘it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute.’ said the gentleman. ‘At this festive season of the year. presenting his credentials. sir. ‘And the Union workhouses?’ demanded Scrooge. Still. sir.’ said the gentleman. ‘Both very busy. then?’ said Scrooge. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries.
gentlemen. ‘Since you ask me what I wish. and Abundance rejoices. Besides — excuse me — I don’t know that.’ said Scrooge. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned — they cost enough. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. that is my answer. when Want is keenly felt.’ ‘Many can’t go there. from what you said at first. ‘I’m very glad to hear it.’ observed the gentleman.’ returned the gentleman. that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course. 13 of 138 .’ ‘But you might know it.A Christmas Carol ‘Oh! I was afraid.’ said Scrooge. because it is a time.’ said Scrooge.’ ‘If they would rather die. ‘You wish to be anonymous?’ ‘I wish to be left alone. We choose this time. and decrease the surplus population. and those who are badly off must go there. of all others. ‘they had better do it. What shall I put you down for?’ ‘Nothing!’ Scrooge replied. ‘a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink. and means of warmth. and many would rather die.’ ‘Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude.
Mine occupies me constantly. The water-plug being left in solitude. and in a more facetious temper than was usual with him.’ Scrooge returned. round which a party of ragged men and boys were gathered: warming their hands and winking their eyes before the blaze in rapture. that people ran about with flaring links. with tremulous vibrations afterwards as if its teeth were chattering in its frozen head up there. and struck the hours and quarters in the clouds. and had lighted a great fire in a brazier. some labourers were repairing the gas-pipes. gentlemen!’ Seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their point. became invisible. Scrooge returned his labours with an improved opinion of himself. the gentlemen withdrew. The cold became intense. and not to interfere with other people’s. its overflowing sullenly congealed.A Christmas Carol ‘It’s not my business. ‘It’s enough for a man to understand his own business. proffering their services to go before horses in carriages. whose gruff old bell was always peeping slily down at Scrooge out of a Gothic window in the wall. The ancient tower of a church. and conduct them on their way. Good afternoon. Meanwhile the fog and darkness thickened so. The brightness of the shops where holly 14 of 138 . and turned to misanthropic ice. In the main street at the corner of the court.
searching. If the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit’s nose with a touch of such weather as that. with which it was next to impossible to believe that such dull principles as bargain and sale had anything to do. stooped down at Scrooge’s keyhole to regale him with a Christmas carol: but at the first sound of ‘God bless you.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. view. and colder! Piercing. The Lord Mayor. The owner of one scant young nose. sprigs and berries crackled in the lamp heat of the windows. and even the little tailor. in the stronghold of the mighty Mansion House. then indeed he would have roared to lusty purpose. biting cold. while his lean wife and the baby sallied out to buy the beef. instead of using his familiar weapons. stirred up to-morrow’s pudding in his garret. made pale faces ruddy as they passed. whom he had fined five shillings on the previous Monday for being drunk and bloodthirsty in the streets. Download the free trial version. Foggier yet. gave orders to his fifty cooks and butlers to keep Christmas as a Lord Mayor’s household should. merry gentleman! May nothing you dismay!’ 15 of 138 . and edit PDF. a glorious pageant. Poulterers’ and grocers’ trades became a splendid joke. gnawed and mumbled by the hungry cold as bones are gnawed by dogs.
’ ‘It’s not convenient. I suppose?’ said Scrooge. With an ill-will Scrooge dismounted from his stool.A Christmas Carol Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action.house arrived. that the singer fled in terror.’ The clerk observed that it was only once a year. ‘And yet. The office was closed in a twinkling.’ The clerk promised that he would. and tacitly admitted the fact to the expectant clerk in the Tank. ‘you don’t think me ill-used.’ said Scrooge. you’d think yourself illused. sir. who instantly snuffed his candle out. leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost. Be here all the earlier next morning. ‘If quite convenient. At length the hour of shutting up the counting. I’ll be bound?’ The clerk smiled faintly. and Scrooge walked out with a growl. when I pay a day’s wages for no work. and put on his hat. ‘But I suppose you must have the whole day. If I was to stop half-a-crown for it.’ said Scrooge. buttoning his great-coat to the chin. ‘A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!’ said Scrooge. ‘and it’s not fair. ‘You’ll want all day to-morrow. 16 of 138 .
and dreary enough. It was old enough now. Scrooge took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern. to play at blindman’s-buff. at the end of a lane of boys. that it seemed as if the Genius of the Weather sat in mournful meditation on the threshold. that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house. and having read all the newspapers. The fog and frost so hung about the black old gateway of the house. was fain to grope with his hands. The yard was so dark that even Scrooge. for nobody lived in it but Scrooge. 17 of 138 . twenty times. and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could pelt. went home to bed. went down a slide on Cornhill. the other rooms being all let out as offices. and beguiled the rest of the evening with his banker’sbook. He lived in chambers which had once belonged to his deceased partner. in honour of its being Christmas Eve.A Christmas Carol and the clerk. where it had so little business to be. They were a gloomy suite of rooms. who knew its every stone. playing at hide-and-seek with other houses. with the long ends of his white comforter dangling below his waist (for he boasted no great-coat). and forgotten the way out again. in a lowering pile of building up a yard.
and. Marley’s face. and livery. but its horror seemed to be in spite of the face 18 of 138 . like a bad lobster in a dark cellar. It was not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were. but had a dismal light about it. but looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look: with ghostly spectacles turned up on its ghostly forehead. if he can.A Christmas Carol Now. And then let any man explain to me. That. night and morning. Let it also be borne in mind that Scrooge had not bestowed one thought on Marley. except that it was very large. and its livid colour. It was not angry or ferocious. it is a fact. also that Scrooge had as little of what is called fancy about him as any man in the city of London. though the eyes were wide open. they were perfectly motionless. even including — which is a bold word — the corporation. aldermen. without its undergoing any intermediate process of change — not a knocker. made it horrible. having his key in the lock of the door. saw in the knocker. that Scrooge had seen it. how it happened that Scrooge. that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on the door. since his last mention of his seven years’ dead partner that afternoon. The hair was curiously stirred. but Marley’s face. during his whole residence in that place. as if by breath or hot air. It is also a fact.
appeared to have a separate peal of echoes of its own. walked in. But there was nothing on the back of the door. or that his blood was not conscious of a terrible sensation to which it had been a stranger from infancy. before he shut the door. it was a knocker again. and he did look cautiously behind it first. so he said ‘Pooh. and lighted his candle. slowly too: trimming his candle as he went. pooh!’ and closed it with a bang. As Scrooge looked fixedly at this phenomenon. To say that he was not startled. The sound resounded through the house like thunder. as if he half-expected to be terrified with the sight of Marley’s pigtail sticking out into the hall. He did pause. and every cask in the wine-merchant’s cellars below. with a moment’s irresolution. turned it sturdily. would be untrue. and walked across the hall. Scrooge was not a man to be frightened by echoes.A Christmas Carol and beyond its control. 19 of 138 . Every room above. But he put his hand upon the key he had relinquished. except the screws and nuts that held the knocker on. and up the stairs. He fastened the door. rather than a part or its own expression.
A Christmas Carol You may talk vaguely about driving a coach-and-six up a good old flight of stairs. Lumber-room 20 of 138 . But before he shut his heavy door. and taken it broadwise. which is perhaps the reason why Scrooge thought he saw a locomotive hearse going on before him in the gloom. Nobody under the table. nobody in the closet. nobody in his dressing-gown. a small fire in the grate. There was plenty of width for that. Nobody under the bed. or through a bad young Act of Parliament. Darkness is cheap. so you may suppose that it was pretty dark with Scrooge’s dip. Up Scrooge went. Sitting-room. not caring a button for that. lumber-room. with the splinterbar towards the wall and the door towards the balustrades: and done it easy. and the little saucepan of gruel (Scrooge had a cold in his head) upon the hob. he walked through his rooms to see that all was right. He had just enough recollection of the face to desire to do that. All as they should be. nobody under the sofa. Half a dozen gas-lamps out of the street wouldn’t have lighted the entry too well. and Scrooge liked it. but I mean to say you might have got a hearse up that staircase. which was hanging up in a suspicious attitude against the wall. bedroom. and room to spare. spoon and basin ready.
Thus secured against surprise. washing-stand on three legs. 21 of 138 . Belshazzars. came like the ancient Prophet’s rod. two fish-baskets. If each smooth tile had been a blank at first. Abrahams. nothing on such a bitter night. and paved all round with quaint Dutch tiles. Angelic messengers descending through the air on clouds like feather-beds. there would have been a copy of old Marley’s head on every one. old shoes. Queens of Sheba. designed to illustrate the Scriptures. before he could extract the least sensation of warmth from such a handful of fuel. The fireplace was an old one. seven years dead. he took off his cravat. and sat down before the fire to take his gruel.A Christmas Carol as usual. built by some Dutch merchant long ago. He was obliged to sit close to it. Quite satisfied. he closed his door. Apostles putting off to sea in butter-boats. and locked himself in. which was not his custom. and his nightcap. put on his dressing-gown and slippers. and brood over it. double-locked himself in. There were Cains and Abels. and a poker. Old fire-guards. Pharaohs’ daughters. with power to shape some picture on its surface from the disjointed fragments of his thoughts. and swallowed up the whole. It was a very low fire indeed. hundreds of figures to attract his thoughts — and yet that face of Marley.
They were succeeded by a clanking noise. and then he heard the noise much louder. that hung in the room. on the floors below. and passed into the 22 of 138 . as if some person were dragging a heavy chain over the casks in the wine merchant’s cellar. his glance happened to rest upon a bell. inexplicable dread. It swung so softly in the outset that it scarcely made a sound. but it seemed an hour. ‘I won’t believe it. or a minute. ‘It’s humbug still!’ said Scrooge.’ His colour changed though. it came on through the heavy door. The bells ceased as they had begun. that as he looked. Scrooge then remembered to have heard that ghosts in haunted houses were described as dragging chains. This might have lasted half a minute. The cellar-door flew open with a booming sound. deep down below. together. but soon it rang out loudly. As he threw his head back in the chair. then coming straight towards his door. when. and so did every bell in the house. then coming up the stairs. and with a strange. without a pause. and communicated for some purpose now forgotten with a chamber in the highest story of the building. After several turns. It was with great astonishment. a disused bell. he sat down again.A Christmas Carol ‘Humbug!’ said Scrooge. he saw this bell begin to swing. and walked across the room.
padlocks. and heavy purses wrought in steel. Marley in his pigtail. No. as though it cried ‘I know him. the tassels on the latter bristling. and the hair upon his head. ‘How now!’ said Scrooge. and wound about him like a tail. observing him. though he felt the chilling influence of its death-cold eyes. His body was transparent. could see the two buttons on his coat behind. and marked the very texture of the folded kerchief bound about its head and chin. caustic and cold as ever. Upon its coming in. he was still incredulous. keys. ledgers. and his coat-skirts. Though he looked the phantom through and through. and saw it standing before him. nor did he believe it even now. The chain he drew was clasped about his middle. and fought against his senses. The same face: the very same. and it was made (for Scrooge observed it closely) of cashboxes. like his pigtail. ‘What do you want with me?’ 23 of 138 . Scrooge had often heard it said that Marley had no bowels. usual waistcoat. which wrapper he had not observed before. the dying flame leaped up. deeds. It was long. but he had never believed it until now. and looking through his waistcoat. tights and boots. so that Scrooge.A Christmas Carol room before his eyes. Marley’s Ghost!’ and fell again.
it might involve the necessity of an embarrassing explanation. for a shade. looking doubtfully at him. ‘In life I was your partner.A Christmas Carol ‘Much!’ — Marley’s voice.’ He was going to say ‘to a shade.’ ‘Do it. ‘Why do you doubt your senses?’ 24 of 138 . Jacob Marley.’ said Scrooge. because he didn’t know whether a ghost so transparent might find himself in a condition to take a chair. ‘You don’t believe in me. ‘You’re particular. raising his voice. no doubt about it. ‘I can.’ said Scrooge. and felt that in the event of its being impossible. ‘What evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your senses?’ ‘I don’t know. ‘I don’t. ‘Who are you?’ ‘Ask me who I was.’ ‘Who were you then?’ said Scrooge.’ Scrooge asked the question. then.’ but substituted this. as more appropriate.’ ‘Can you — can you sit down?’ asked Scrooge.’ observed the Ghost. as if he were quite used to it. But the ghost sat down on the opposite side of the fireplace.
in silence for a moment. for though the Ghost sat perfectly motionless. but this was clearly the case. Scrooge felt.A Christmas Carol ‘Because. a fragment of an underdone potato. as a means of distracting his own attention. for the spectre’s voice disturbed the very marrow in his bones. Scrooge could not feel it himself. though it were only for a second. and wishing. ‘You see this toothpick?’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. too. were still agitated as by the hot vapour from an oven. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you. 25 of 138 . The truth is. and keeping down his terror. would play. in the spectre’s being provided with an infernal atmosphere of its own. and skirts. by any means waggish then. and tassels. ‘a little thing affects them. staring at those fixed glazed eyes. There was something very awful. returning quickly to the charge. To sit. a crumb of cheese. whatever you are!’ Scrooge was not much in the habit of cracking jokes. its hair. for the reason just assigned. to divert the vision’s stony gaze from himself. a blot of mustard. that he tried to be smart. nor did he feel. the very deuce with him. You may be an undigested bit of beef. in his heart. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats.
’ said Scrooge. and shook its chain with such a dismal and appalling noise. that Scrooge held on tight to his chair. But why do spirits walk the earth. Humbug. to save himself from falling in a swoon. and be for the rest of my days persecuted by a legion of goblins. why do you trouble me?’ ‘Man of the worldly mind!’ replied the Ghost.’ ‘Well!’ returned Scrooge. ‘notwithstanding. ‘that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his 26 of 138 . I tell you! humbug!’ At this the spirit raised a frightful cry. its lower jaw dropped down upon its breast! Scrooge fell upon his knees. ‘You are not looking at it. ‘Dreadful apparition.A Christmas Carol ‘I do. when the phantom taking off the bandage round its head. ‘Mercy!’ he said.’ said Scrooge. and why do they come to me?’ ‘It is required of every man. all of my own creation. But how much greater was his horror. and clasped his hands before his face. ‘I must. ‘do you believe in me or not?’ ‘I do.’ replied the Ghost.’ said the Ghost. ‘I have but to swallow this. ‘But I see it. as if it were too warm to wear indoors.’ the Ghost returned.
fellowmen. ‘You are fettered.’ replied the Ghost. since. but might have shared on earth. and travel far and wide. and yard by yard. trembling. Jacob!’ 27 of 138 . and shook its chain and wrung its shadowy hands. view.’ pursued the Ghost. imploringly. ‘Jacob. You have laboured on it. Download the free trial version. Speak comfort to me. and if that spirit goes not forth in life.’ said Scrooge. woe is me! — and witness what it cannot share.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create.’ he said. tell me more. seven Christmas Eves ago. It is a ponderous chain!’ Scrooge glanced about him on the floor. ‘I made it link by link. it is condemned to do so after death. and edit PDF. ‘Old Jacob Marley. ‘Or would you know. I girded it on of my own free will. ‘the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this. Is its pattern strange to you?’ Scrooge trembled more and more. ‘Tell me why?’ ‘I wear the chain I forged in life. and of my own free will I wore it. It is doomed to wander through the world — oh. in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he could see nothing. and turned to happiness!’ Again the spectre raised a cry.
to put his hands in his breeches pockets. ‘You must have been very slow about it. I cannot linger anywhere. to other kinds of men. I cannot stay. Jacob. ‘No rest. ‘It comes from other regions. though with humility and deference. whenever he became thoughtful. he did so now. and weary journeys lie before me!’ It was a habit with Scrooge. 28 of 138 . is all permitted to me. no peace.’ Scrooge observed. in a business-like manner. or getting off his knees. Pondering on what the Ghost had said. and is conveyed by other ministers.’ replied the Ghost.’ ‘You travel fast?’ said Scrooge. ‘On the wings of the wind. Nor can I tell you what I would. Ebenezer Scrooge.’ the Ghost replied.’ mused Scrooge. ‘Slow!’ the Ghost repeated.A Christmas Carol ‘I have none to give. ‘And travelling all the time!’ ‘The whole time. My spirit never walked beyond our counting-house — mark me! — in life my spirit never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole. ‘Seven years dead. Incessant torture of remorse. A very little more. but without lifting up his eyes.’ said the Ghost. I cannot rest.
The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!’ 29 of 138 . and double-ironed. The common welfare was my business.A Christmas Carol ‘You might have got over a great quantity of ground in seven years. that ages of incessant labour.’ faltered Scrooge.’ cried the phantom. my business.’ said Scrooge. were. and benevolence. all. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere. and clanked its chain so hideously in the dead silence of the night. charity. for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. wringing its hands again. Jacob. set up another cry. forbearance. ‘Oh! captive. by immortal creatures. ‘Business!’ cried the Ghost. ‘not to know. The Ghost. bound. whatever it may be. ‘Mankind was my business. mercy. on hearing this. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!’ ‘But you were always a good man of business. who now began to apply this to himself. will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. that the Ward would have been justified in indicting it for a nuisance.
Jacob! Pray!’ ‘How it is that I appear before you in a shape that you can see.’ said Scrooge. Ebenezer. that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate.’ said Scrooge. and wiped the perspiration from his brow.’ pursued the Ghost.A Christmas Carol It held up its chain at arm’s length. ‘Thank ‘ee!’ 30 of 138 . ‘Hear me!’ cried the Ghost. and flung it heavily upon the ground again.’ the spectre said ‘I suffer most. ‘My time is nearly gone. ‘At this time of the rolling year. Scrooge shivered. and began to quake exceedingly.’ ‘I will. ‘I am here to-night to warn you. I may not tell. ‘That is no light part of my penance. A chance and hope of my procuring.’ It was not an agreeable idea. ‘But don’t be hard upon me! Don’t be flowery. Why did I walk through crowds of fellowbeings with my eyes turned down. and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode! Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!’ Scrooge was very much dismayed to hear the spectre going on at this rate.’ ‘You were always a good friend to me. as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief. I have sat invisible beside you many and many a day.
‘by Three Spirits. for your own sake. you remember what has passed between us!’ When it had said these words. the spectre took its wrapper from the table. ‘Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. ‘you cannot hope to shun the path I tread.’ said the Ghost.’ resumed the Ghost.’ Scrooge’s countenance fell almost as low as the Ghost’s had done. ‘Is that the chance and hope you mentioned. ‘Without their visits. Jacob?’ he demanded. He ventured to raise his eyes again. when the jaws were brought together by the bandage. when the bell tolls One. Scrooge knew this. Look to see me no more.’ said Scrooge. as before. ‘It is. and have it over. The third upon the next night when the last stroke of Twelve has ceased to vibrate. and look that.’ ‘Couldn’t I take ‘em all at once. in a faltering voice. and bound it round its head. Jacob?’ hinted Scrooge. Expect the first tomorrow.’ ‘I — I think I’d rather not. and found 31 of 138 .A Christmas Carol ‘You will be haunted. by the smart sound its teeth made.
some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together. incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret. The air was filled with phantoms. Every one of them wore chains like Marley’s Ghost.A Christmas Carol his supernatural visitor confronting him in an erect attitude. it was wide open. as in surprise and fear: for on the raising of the hand. He had been quite familiar with one 32 of 138 . joined in the mournful dirge. Scrooge stopped. wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. he became sensible of confused noises in the air. It beckoned Scrooge to approach. so that when the spectre reached it. When they were within two paces of each other. and floated out upon the bleak. dark night. after listening for a moment. and at every step it took. which he did. and moaning as they went. Not so much in obedience. with its chain wound over and about its arm. the window raised itself a little. He looked out. warning him to come no nearer. The spectre. The apparition walked backward from him. none were free. Marley’s Ghost held up its hand. wandering hither and thither in restless haste. Scrooge followed to the window: desperate in his curiosity.
or the fatigues of the day. went straight to bed. Scrooge closed the window. he could not tell. But they and their spirit voices faded together. And being. much in need of repose. for good. whom it saw below. He tried to say ‘Humbug!’ but stopped at the first syllable. who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant. 33 of 138 . or the lateness of the hour. that they sought to interfere. It was double-locked. and the night became as it had been when he walked home. and examined the door by which the Ghost had entered.A Christmas Carol old ghost. Whether these creatures faded into mist. The misery with them all was. with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle. in human matters. or the dull conversation of the Ghost. from the emotion he had undergone. in a white waistcoat. without undressing. or his glimpse of the Invisible World. clearly. and had lost the power for ever. as he had locked it with his own hands. and the bolts were undisturbed. upon a door-step. and fell asleep upon the instant. or mist enshrouded them.
then stopped. to correct this most preposterous clock. He was endeavouring to pierce the darkness with his ferret eyes. It was past two when he went to bed. and groped his way to the window. To his great astonishment the heavy bell went on from six to seven. Its rapid little pulse beat twelve: and stopped.A Christmas Carol Stave 2: The First of the Three Spirits When Scrooge awoke.’ said Scrooge. He touched the spring of his repeater. and this is twelve at noon.’ The idea being an alarming one. and from seven to eight. that looking out of bed. he could scarcely distinguish the transparent window from the opaque walls of his chamber. it isn’t possible. it was so dark. and regularly up to twelve. The clock was wrong. he scrambled out of bed. ‘that I can have slept through a whole day and far into another night. He was obliged to rub the frost off with the sleeve of his dressing-gown 34 of 138 . An icicle must have got into the works. Twelve. when the chimes of a neighbouring church struck the four quarters. Twelve. So he listened for the hour. ‘Why. It isn’t possible that anything has happened to the sun.
’ and so forth. the more he endeavoured not to think. andpresented the same problem to be worked all through. Scrooge went to bed again. All he could make out was. and taken possession of the world. after mature inquiry that it was all a dream. the more he thought. his mind flew back again.A Christmas Carol before he could see anything. that it was still very foggy and extremely cold. and could see very little then. Every time he resolved within himself. like a strong spring released. This was a great relief. and. and thought. that the Ghost hadwarned him of a visitation when the 35 of 138 . Marley’s Ghost bothered him exceedingly. the more perplexed he was. as there unquestionably would have been if night had beaten off bright day. when he remembered. would have become a mere United States security if there were no days to count by. and thought it over and over. and thought. ‘Was it a dream or not?’ Scrooge lay in this state until the chime had gone three-quarters more. and that there was no noise of people running to and fro. because ‘Three days after sight of this First of Exchange pay to Mr. The more he thought. on a sudden. to its first position. Ebenezer Scrooge on his order. and could make nothing of it. and making a great stir.
and missed the clock. and. ‘and nothing else!’ He spoke before the hour bell sounded. I tell you. dong!’ ‘A quarter to it. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside. ‘Ding. melancholy ONE. and Scrooge. nor the curtains at his back. Not the curtains at his feet. At length it broke upon his listening ear. this was. but those to which his face was addressed. and the curtains of his bed were drawn. the wisest resolution in his power. dull.’ said Scrooge. dong!’ ‘The hour itself.’ said Scrooge. that he was more than once convinced he must have sunk into a doze unconsciously. considering that he could no more go to sleep than go to heaven. Light flashed up in the room upon the instant. ‘Ding. by a hand. hollow.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge triumphantly. counting. dong!’ ‘Half past. starting 36 of 138 . perhaps. which it now did with a deep. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside. ‘Ding. dong!’ ‘A quarter past. ‘Ding. The quarter was so long.A Christmas Carol bell tolled one. He resolved to lie awake until the hour was passed.
Its legs and feet. was white as if with age. most delicately formed. and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it. the hands the same. and round its waist was bound a lustrous belt. and the tenderest bloom was on the skin. in singular contradiction of that wintry emblem. 37 of 138 . had its dress trimmed with summer flowers. It wore a tunic of the purest white. The arms were very long and muscular. It was a strange figure — like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man. and I am standing in the spirit at your elbow. by which all this was visible. Its hair.A Christmas Carol up into a half-recumbent attitude. found himself face to face with the unearthly visitor who drew them: as close to it as I am now to you. as if its hold were of uncommon strength. in its duller moments. bare. and being diminished to a child’s proportions. a great extinguisher for a cap. the sheen of which was beautiful. which hung about its neck and down its back. were. which it now held under its arm. which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view. viewed through some supernatural medium. like those upper members. But the strangest thing about it was. and. that from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light. It held a branch of fresh green holly in its hand. and which was doubtless the occasion of its using.
A Christmas Carol
Even this, though, when Scrooge looked at it with increasing steadiness, was not its strangest quality. For as its belt sparkled and glittered now in one part and now in another, and what was light one instant, at another time was dark, so the figure itself fluctuated in its distinctness: being now a thing with one arm, now with one leg, now with twenty legs, now a pair of legs without a head, now a head without a body: of which dissolving parts, no outline would be visible in the dense gloom wherein they melted away. And in the very wonder of this, it would be itself again; distinct and clear as ever. ‘Are you the Spirit, sir, whose coming was foretold to me.’ asked Scrooge. ‘I am.’ The voice was soft and gentle. Singularly low, as if instead of being so close beside him, it were at a distance. ‘Who, and what are you.’ Scrooge demanded. ‘I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.’ ‘Long Past.’ inquired Scrooge: observant of its dwarfish stature. ‘No. Your past.’ Perhaps, Scrooge could not have told anybody why, if anybody could have asked him; but he had a special desire to see the Spirit in his cap; and begged him to be covered. 38 of 138
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‘What.’ exclaimed the Ghost, ‘would you so soon put out, with worldly hands, the light I give. Is it not enough that you are one of those whose passions made this cap, and force me through whole trains of years to wear it low upon my brow.’ Scrooge reverently disclaimed all intention to offend or any knowledge of having wilfully bonneted the Spirit at any period of his life. He then made bold to inquire what business brought him there. ‘Your welfare.’ said the Ghost. Scrooge expressed himself much obliged, but could not help thinking that a night of unbroken rest would have been more conducive to that end. The Spirit must have heard him thinking, for it said immediately: ‘Your reclamation, then. Take heed.’ It put out its strong hand as it spoke, and clasped him gently by the arm. ‘Rise. and walk with me.’ It would have been in vain for Scrooge to plead that the weather and the hour were not adapted to pedestrian purposes; that bed was warm, and the thermometer a long way below freezing; that he was clad but lightly in his slippers, dressing-gown, and nightcap; and that he had a cold upon him at that time. The grasp, though gentle as a 39 of 138
A Christmas Carol
woman’s hand, was not to be resisted. He rose: but finding that the Spirit made towards the window, clasped his robe in supplication. ‘I am mortal,’ Scrooge remonstrated, ‘and liable to fall.’ ‘Bear but a touch of my hand there,’ said the Spirit, laying it upon his heart,’ and you shall be upheld in more than this.’ As the words were spoken, they passed through the wall, and stood upon an open country road, with fields on either hand. The city had entirely vanished. Not a vestige of it was to be seen. The darkness and the mist had vanished with it, for it was a clear, cold, winter day, with snow upon the ground. ‘Good Heaven!’ said Scrooge, clasping his hands together, as he looked about him. ‘I was bred in this place. I was a boy here.’ The Spirit gazed upon him mildly. Its gentle touch, though it had been light and instantaneous, appeared still present to the old man’s sense of feeling. He was conscious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares long, long, forgotten. ‘Your lip is trembling,’ said the Ghost. ‘And what is that upon your cheek.’ 40 of 138
’ cried Scrooge with fervour.’ The jocund travellers came on. and winding river. with its bridge. and as they came. Some shaggy ponies now were seen trotting towards them with boys upon their backs. ‘They have no consciousness of us. ‘I could walk it blindfold. who called to other boys in country gigs and carts. ‘These are but shadows of the things that have been. All these boys were in great spirits. Scrooge knew and named them every one. and shouted to each other. ‘You recollect the way.’ observed the Ghost.’ ‘Strange to have forgotten it for so many years. until a little market-town appeared in the distance. that it was a pimple. that the crisp air laughed to hear it. driven by farmers.’ They walked along the road. and begged the Ghost to lead him where he would.’ inquired the Spirit. until the broad fields were so full of merry music. its church. Why did his cold eye glisten. ‘Remember it. and post.A Christmas Carol Scrooge muttered. ‘Let us go on. with an unusual catching in his voice. and his heart leap up as they went past. Why was he rejoiced beyond all bounds to see them.’ said the Ghost. Why was he filled with gladness when he heard them give each 41 of 138 . Scrooge recognising every gate. and tree.
A Christmas Carol other Merry Christmas. the Ghost and Scrooge. by a well-remembered lane. And he sobbed. What was merry Christmas to Scrooge. within. they found them poorly furnished. as they parted at cross-roads and bye-ways. cold. on the roof. for their several homes. for entering the dreary hall. for the spacious offices were little used. which associated itself somehow with too much getting up by candle-light. Out upon merry Christmas. ‘The school is not quite deserted. across the hall. their windows broken. and soon approached a mansion of dull red brick. and not too much to eat. ‘A solitary child. neglected by his friends. but one of broken fortunes. and their gates decayed. and a bell hanging in it. They went. to a door at the back of the house. Nor was it more retentive of its ancient state. and glancing through the open doors of many rooms. and 42 of 138 . It was a large house. There was an earthy savour in the air. What good had it ever done to him. They left the high-road. and vast. It opened before them. is left there still.’ said the Ghost.’ Scrooge said he knew it. with a little weathercock-surmounted cupola. and the coach-houses and sheds were over-run with grass. their walls were damp and mossy. Fowls clucked and strutted in the stables. a chilly bareness in the place.
At one of these a lonely boy was reading near a feeble fire. and pointed to his younger self. it’s Ali Baba. in foreign garments: wonderfully real and distinct to look at: stood outside the window. ‘It’s dear old honest Ali Baba. bare. he did come. One Christmas time.A Christmas Carol disclosed a long. when yonder solitary child was left here all alone. and wept to see his poor forgotten self as he used to be. with an axe stuck in his belt. intent upon his reading. no. yes. Poor boy. And what’s his name. melancholy room. not a drip from the half-thawed water-spout in the dull yard behind. made barer still by lines of plain deal forms and desks. And Valentine. just like that. Not a latent echo in the house. Yes. and gave a freer passage to his tears. for the first time. not a clicking in the fire. Orson.’ Scrooge exclaimed in ecstasy. and leading by the bridle an ass laden with wood. not a squeak and scuffle from the mice behind the panelling. Suddenly a man. not a sigh among the leafless boughs of one despondent poplar. I know.’ and his wild brother. there they go. not the idle swinging of an empty store-house door. but fell upon the heart of Scrooge with a softening influence. ‘Why. who 43 of 138 . The Spirit touched him on the arm.’ said Scrooge. and Scrooge sat down upon a form.
’ To hear Scrooge expending all the earnestness of his nature on such subjects. with a thing like a lettuce growing out of the top of his head. There goes Friday.’ The man thought he was dreaming. ‘Poor Robin Crusoe. and to see his heightened and excited face. in pity for his former self. asleep.’ Then. at the Gate of Damascus. ‘Green body and yellow tail. there he is. ‘There’s the Parrot. Halloa. don’t you see him. would have been a surprise to his business friends in the city. Robin Crusoe. he said. 44 of 138 . he called him. running for his life to the little creek. And the Sultan’s Groom turned upside down by the Genii. Serve him right. indeed. Hallo. in a most extraordinary voice between laughing and crying. It was the Parrot. What business had he to be married to the Princess. Poor Robin Crusoe.’ and cried again. ‘Poor boy. where have you been. with a rapidity of transition very foreign to his usual character. but he wasn’t. you know.’ cried Scrooge. when he came home again after sailing round the island. Hoop. there he is upon his head.A Christmas Carol was put down in his drawers. I’m glad of it.
and a little girl.A Christmas Carol ‘I wish.’ said Scrooge.’ Scrooge muttered. ‘Nothing. and waved its hand: saying as it did so. but walking up and down despairingly. He only knew that it was quite correct. There was a boy singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. Scrooge knew no more than you do. and the naked laths were shown instead. It opened. and putting her arms about his neck. and 45 of 138 . the windows cracked. He was not reading now. after drying his eyes with his cuff: ‘but it’s too late now.’ ‘What is the matter. ‘Let us see another Christmas. that everything had happened so. glanced anxiously towards the door. I should like to have given him something: that’s all. that there he was. came darting in. much younger than the boy. putting his hand in his pocket.’ Scrooge’s former self grew larger at the words. fragments of plaster fell out of the ceiling. and with a mournful shaking of his head. alone again. and the room became a little darker and more dirty.’ asked the Spirit. The panels shrunk. ‘Nothing. but how all this was brought about. Scrooge looked at the Ghost.’ The Ghost smiled thoughtfully. and looking about him. when all the other boys had gone home for the jolly holidays.
opening her eyes.A Christmas Carol often kissing him.’ returned the boy. that home’s like Heaven. Home. She clapped her hands and laughed. and sent me in a coach to bring you.’ ‘I have come to bring you home. accompanied her. for ever and ever. and he.’ ‘Home. little Fan. He spoke so gently to me one dear night when I was going to bed. clapping her tiny hands. there. nothing loth to go. A terrible voice in the hall cried. for good and all. and bending down to laugh. and he said Yes.’ said the child. dear brother. and have the merriest time in all the world. you should. and tried to touch his head. ‘Yes. ‘Home. dear brother.’ ‘You are quite a woman. Then she began to drag him. but first.’ said the child.’ said the child. in her childish eagerness. ‘Bring down Master Scrooge’s box. brimful of glee.’ and are never to come back here. laughed again. little Fan. home. towards the door. ‘To bring you home.’ and in the hall appeared the 46 of 138 . that I was not afraid to ask him once more if you might come home. And you’re to be a man. but being too little. we’re to be together all the Christmas long. home.’ exclaimed the boy. and stood on tiptoe to embrace him. Father is so much kinder than he used to be. addressed him as her ‘Dear.
Master Scrooge’s trunk being by this time tied on to the top of the chaise. Here he produced a decanter of curiously light wine. sending out a meagre servant to offer a glass of something to the postboy. He then conveyed him and his sister into the veriest old well of a shivering best-parlour that ever was seen. and getting into it. God forbid. the children bade the schoolmaster good-bye right willingly.’ 47 of 138 . I will not gainsay it. ‘Always a delicate creature.A Christmas Carol schoolmaster himself.’ cried Scrooge. Spirit. and the celestial and terrestrial globes in the windows. where the maps upon the wall. were waxy with cold. ‘But she had a large heart.’ said the Ghost. who glared on Master Scrooge with a ferocious condescension.’ ‘So she had. he had rather not. ‘You’re right. who answered that he thanked the gentleman. drove gaily down the garden-sweep: the quick wheels dashing the hoar-frost and snow from off the dark leaves of the evergreens like spray. and administered instalments of those dainties to the young people: at the same time. but if it was the same tap as he had tasted before. and threw him into a dreadful state of mind by shaking hands with him. whom a breath might have withered. and a block of curiously heavy cake.
It was made plain enough.’ said the Ghost. as I think.’ Although they had but that moment left the school behind them. that if he had been two inches taller he must have knocked his head against the ceiling. it’s old Fezziwig.’ Scrooge returned. where shadowy passengers passed and repassed. and asked Scrooge if he knew it. At sight of an old gentleman in a Welsh wig. and the streets were lighted up. ‘and had. ‘Yes. and all the strife and tumult of a real city were.A Christmas Carol ‘She died a woman. ‘Your nephew. ‘True. that here too it was Christmas time again.’ Scrooge seemed uneasy in his mind. children. Bless his heart.’ 48 of 138 .’ said Scrooge.’ said the Ghost. it’s Fezziwig alive again. The Ghost stopped at a certain warehouse door. they were now in the busy thoroughfares of a city. by the dressing of the shops.’ ‘One child. ‘I was apprenticed here.’ They went in. and answered briefly. sitting behind such a high desk. but it was evening. Scrooge cried in great excitement: ‘Why. where shadowy carts and coaches battle for the way. ‘Know it.
Dick. ‘Hilli-ho!’ cried old Fezziwig. ‘Clear away. He was very much attached to me. three — had them up in their places — four. 49 of 138 . fat. with a sharp clap of his hands. and called out in a comfortable. ‘Dick Wilkins. and looked up at the clock. Ebenezer.’ Scrooge’s former self. five. He rubbed his hands. eight.A Christmas Carol Old Fezziwig laid down his pen. yes. Christmas Eve. with wonderful agility. They charged into the street with the shutters — one. to be sure. There he is. two. rich. accompanied by his fellow-prentice. Ebenezer.’ ‘Yo ho. ‘Bless me. Christmas. from his shows to his organ of benevolence. adjusted his capacious waistcoat. dear. Dear. Dick. ‘No more work tonight. my boys.’ You wouldn’t believe how those two fellows went at it. came briskly in. laughed all over himself. six — barred them and pinned then — seven. jovial voice: ‘Yo ho. oily.’ before a man can say Jack Robinson.’ cried old Fezziwig. Poor Dick. which pointed to the hour of seven. panting like race-horses. my lads. was Dick. Let’s have the shutters up. nine — and came back before you could have got to twelve.’ said Fezziwig. skipping down from the high desk.’ said Scrooge to the Ghost. there. now grown a young man.
In came all the young men and women employed in the business. the floor was swept and watered. one vast substantial smile. In they all 50 of 138 . and the warehouse was as snug. In came the boy from over the way.A Christmas Carol and let’s have lots of room here. fuel was heaped upon the fire. with old Fezziwig looking on. with her brother’s particular friend. the lamps were trimmed. and tuned like fifty stomach-aches. and went up to the lofty desk. and warm. and bright a ball-room. In came the six young followers whose hearts they broke. as you would desire to see upon a winter’s night. Hilli-ho. Chirrup. and dry. There was nothing they wouldn’t have cleared away. and made an orchestra of it. who was proved to have had her ears pulled by her mistress. In came the housemaid. In came the three Miss Fezziwigs. In came the cook. the baker. beaming and lovable. Dick. Ebenezer. trying to hide himself behind the girl from next door but one. the milkman. with her cousin.’ Clear away. who was suspected of not having board enough from his master. Every movable was packed off. In came Mrs Fezziwig. It was done in a minute. or couldn’t have cleared away. In came a fiddler with a music-book. as if it were dismissed from public life for evermore.
When this result was brought about. round and round in various stages of affectionate grouping. and plenty of beer. But the great effect of the evening came after the Roast and Boiled. as soon as they got there. all top couples at last. and there was negus. especially provided for that purpose.’ and the fiddler plunged his hot face into a pot of porter. in they all came. and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled. But scorning rest. and edit PDF. down the middle and up again. as if the other fiddler had been carried home. he instantly began again. Away they all went. though there were no dancers yet. and he were a bran-new man resolved to beat him out of sight. one after another. clapping his hands to stop the dance. and there was a great piece of Cold Roast. and more dances.’ Well done. some pushing.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. when the fiddler (an 51 of 138 . some awkwardly. old Fezziwig. some shyly. and there was cake. some gracefully. and there were mince-pies. and there were forfeits. twenty couples at once. Download the free trial version. on a shutter. and not a bottom one to help them. exhausted. hands half round and back again the other way. some pulling. cried out. came. anyhow and everyhow. old top couple always turning up in the wrong place. upon his reappearance. or perish. some boldly. new top couple starting off again. view. There were more dances.
that he appeared to wink with his legs. and had no notion of walking.A Christmas Carol artful dog. But if they had been twice as many — ah. advance and retire. thread-theneedle. And when old Fezziwig and Mrs Fezziwig had gone all through the dance. Fezziwig cut — cut so deftly. As to her. The sort of man who knew his business better than you or I could have told it him. four times — old Fezziwig would have been a match for them. They shone in every part of the dance like moons. with a good stiff piece of work cut out for them. one on 52 of 138 .’ Then old Fezziwig stood out to dance with Mrs Fezziwig. this domestic ball broke up. Mr and Mrs Fezziwig took their stations. what would have become of them next. at any given time. A positive light appeared to issue from Fezziwig’s calves. and so would Mrs Fezziwig. both hands to your partner. and came upon his feet again without a stagger. If that’s not high praise. corkscrew.) struck up Sir Roger de Coverley. When the clock struck eleven. she was worthy to be his partner in every sense of the term. mind. Top couple. too. and back again to your place. people who were not to be trifled with. You couldn’t have predicted. and I’ll use it. three or four and twenty pair of partners. bow and curtsey. people who would dance. tell me higher.
while the light upon its head burnt very clear. It was not until now. enjoyed everything. and with his former self. ‘to make these silly folks so full of gratitude. The Spirit signed to him to listen to the two apprentices. who were pouring out their hearts in praise of Fezziwig: and when he had done so. He corroborated everything. ‘Why.’ said the Ghost. Is it not. and shaking hands with every person individually as he or she went out. remembered everything. when the bright faces of his former self and Dick were turned from them. that he remembered the Ghost. He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three or four perhaps.’ ‘Small. and the lads were left to their beds. ‘A small matter. His heart and soul were in the scene. During the whole of this time. which were under a counter in the back-shop. and thus the cheerful voices died away. said.’ 53 of 138 . When everybody had retired but the two prentices. Scrooge had acted like a man out of his wits.A Christmas Carol either side of the door. they did the same to them. wished him or her a Merry Christmas. and became conscious that it was looking full upon him.’ echoed Scrooge. Is that so much that he deserves this praise. and underwent the strangest agitation.
but it produced an immediate effect. That’s all. ‘Something. restless 54 of 138 . Say that his power lies in words and looks. self.’ the Ghost insisted. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy. but it had begun to wear the signs of care and avarice.’ This was not addressed to Scrooge. a man in the prime of life.’ He felt the Spirit’s glance. ‘It isn’t that. and Scrooge and the Ghost again stood side by side in the open air. and speaking unconsciously like his former.’ No. and stopped. greedy.’ His former self turned down the lamps as he gave utterance to the wish. Spirit. ‘What is the matter. His face had not the harsh and rigid lines of later years. I think.’ asked the Ghost. ‘My time grows short. ‘No.A Christmas Carol ‘It isn’t that. or to any one whom he could see. is quite as great as if it cost a fortune. ‘Quick. in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them up: what then. not his latter. ‘Nothing in particular. There was an eager. He was older now.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. a pleasure or a toil. I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now. The happiness he gives.’ observed the Spirit. heated by the remark. to make our service light or burdensome. For again Scrooge saw himself.’ said Scrooge.
Another idol has displaced me.’ she said. I have seen your nobler aspirations fall off one by one. ‘All your other hopes have merged into the hope of being beyond the chance of its sordid reproach. gently. ‘Even if I have grown so much wiser.’ he said. and if it can cheer and comfort you in time to come. ‘It matters little. which sparkled in the light that shone out of the Ghost of Christmas Past. and where the shadow of the growing tree would fall. I have no just cause to grieve. Gain. Have I not.’ 55 of 138 .’ ‘This is the even-handed dealing of the world. softly. ‘There is nothing on which it is so hard as poverty. until the masterpassion. I am not changed towards you. but sat by the side of a fair young girl in a mourning-dress: in whose eyes there were tears. very little. what then.’ she answered. and there is nothing it professes to condemn with such severity as the pursuit of wealth.’ he retorted. as I would have tried to do. which showed the passion that had taken root. engrosses you.’ he rejoined.’ ‘You fear the world too much.’ ‘What then.A Christmas Carol motion in the eye.’ ‘What Idol has displaced you. ‘A golden one. ‘To you. He was not alone.
in another atmosphere of life. you were another man.’ 56 of 138 . another Hope as its great end. until. It is enough that I have thought of it.’ he said impatiently. no.’ ‘In what.’ ‘Our contract is an old one. That which promised happiness when we were one in heart. but with steadiness. ‘Am I. would you seek me out and try to win me now.’ said the girl. It was made when we were both poor and content to be so. Ah. looking mildly. then. ‘Your own feeling tells you that you were not what you are. we could improve our worldly fortune by our patient industry. ‘I am.’ tell me. I will not say.’ she returned. How often and how keenly I have thought of this. and can release you.’ ‘Have I ever sought release.’ ‘I was a boy. in an altered spirit.A Christmas Carol She shook her head.’ ‘In a changed nature. upon him. Never.’ ‘In words. is fraught with misery now that we are two. When it was made. In everything that made my love of any worth or value in your sight. You are changed. in good season. No. If this had never been between us.
very brief time. ‘You may — the memory of what is past half makes me hope you will — have pain in this. as an unprofitable dream. When I have learned a Truth like this. gladly. and they parted. to-morrow. weigh everything by Gain: or. 57 of 138 . do I not know that your repentance and regret would surely follow. But if you were free to-day. May you be happy in the life you have chosen. can even I believe that you would choose a dowerless girl — you who.’ You think not. in spite of himself. from which it happened well that you awoke. A very. in your very confidence with her.’ ‘I would gladly think otherwise if I could.’ she answered. she resumed. but with her head turned from him.A Christmas Carol He seemed to yield to the justice of this supposition. But he said with a struggle. if for a moment you were false enough to your one guiding principle to do so. choosing her. and you will dismiss the recollection of it. and I release you. I do. ‘Heaven knows.’ He was about to speak. yesterday.’ She left him. With a full heart. I know how strong and irresistible it must be. for the love of him you once were.
They were in another scene and place. now a comely matron. soon beginning to mingle in the sports.’ cried Scrooge. for there were more children there. but full of comfort. no.’ show me no more. Though I never could have been so rude.’ But the relentless Ghost pinioned him in both his arms. I don’t wish to see it. What would I not have given to one of them. ‘No more. I wouldn’t for the 58 of 138 . and forced him to observe what happened next. Why do you delight to torture me. not very large or handsome. The noise in this room was perfectly tumultuous. but no one seemed to care.’ exclaimed the Ghost. Conduct me home. Show me no more. until he saw her. and the latter. no.’ ‘One shadow more.’ said Scrooge. on the contrary. and enjoyed it very much. than Scrooge in his agitated state of mind could count. sitting opposite her daughter. Near to the winter fire sat a beautiful young girl. ‘No more. but every child was conducting itself like forty. so like that last that Scrooge believed it was the same. they were not forty children conducting themselves like one. and. got pillaged by the young brigands most ruthlessly. the mother and daughter laughed heartily. The consequences were uproarious beyond belief. a room. unlike the celebrated herd in the poem.A Christmas Carol ‘Spirit.
But now a knocking at the door was heard. hold on tight by his cravat. I should have liked. and for the precious little shoe. to have touched her lips. and the onslaught that was made on the defenceless porter. and never raised a blush. despoil him of brown-paper parcels. who came home attended by a man laden with Christmas toys and presents. And yet I should have dearly liked. just in time to greet the father. and torn it down. I couldn’t have done it. that she might have opened them. to have had the lightest licence of a child. to have looked upon the lashes of her downcast eyes. As to measuring her waist in sport. I wouldn’t have plucked it off. and yet to have been man enough to know its value. bold young brood. to have let loose waves of hair. The scaling him with chairs for ladders to dive into his pockets. to have questioned her. and never come straight again. I do confess. and such a rush immediately ensued that she with laughing face and plundered dress was borne towards it the centre of a flushed and boisterous group. Then the shouting and the struggling. as they did. hug him round his 59 of 138 . to save my life. an inch of which would be a keepsake beyond price: in short.A Christmas Carol wealth of all the world have crushed that braided hair. God bless my soul. I own. I should have expected my arm to have grown round it for a punishment.
where they went to bed.’ I saw an old friend of yours this afternoon.’ said the husband. and by one stair at a time.’ ‘Guess. It is enough that by degrees the children and their emotions got out of the parlour. sat down with her and her mother at his own fireside. and when he thought that such another creature.A Christmas Carol neck. his sight grew very dim indeed. glued on a wooden platter. The terrible announcement that the baby had been taken in the act of putting a doll’s frying-pan into his mouth. and gratitude. might have called him father. The joy. when the master of the house. and been a spring-time in the haggard winter of his life. pommel his back. They are all indescribable alike. and was more than suspected of having swallowed a fictitious turkey. The shouts of wonder and delight with which the development of every package was received. up to the top of the house. having his daughter leaning fondly on him.’ 60 of 138 . turning to his wife with a smile. quite as graceful and as full of promise. ‘Belle. And now Scrooge looked on more attentively than ever. The immense relief of finding this a false alarm. and ecstasy. and kick his legs in irrepressible affection.’ ‘Who was it. and so subsided.
and as it was not shut up.’ He turned upon the Ghost.A Christmas Carol ‘How can I. and there he sat alone. and he had a candle inside. and seeing that it looked upon him with a face.’ she added in the same breath.’ ‘Mr Scrooge it was.’ In the struggle. ‘Leave me.’ I cannot bear it. I passed his office window. His partner lies upon the point of death. if that can be called a struggle in which the Ghost with no visible resistance on its own part was undisturbed by any effort of its adversary. ‘That they are what they are. wrestled with it. I hear.’ ‘I told you these were shadows of the things that have been. do not blame me. he 61 of 138 .’ remove me from this place. Scrooge observed that its light was burning high and bright. and dimly connecting that with its influence over him.’ Scrooge exclaimed. Take me back. Tut.’ ‘Spirit.’ said Scrooge in a broken voice. I do believe.’ said the Ghost. I could scarcely help seeing him. in which in some strange way there were fragments of all the faces it had shown him. Haunt me no longer. ‘Mr Scrooge. don’t I know.’ ‘Remove me. Quite alone in the world. laughing as he laughed.
so that the extinguisher covered its whole form. he could not hide the light. and overcome by an irresistible drowsiness. in an unbroken flood upon the ground.A Christmas Carol seized the extinguisher-cap. and. of being in his own bedroom. which streamed from under it. in which his hand relaxed. but though Scrooge pressed it down with all his force. before he sank into a heavy sleep. 62 of 138 . He was conscious of being exhausted. further. The Spirit dropped beneath it. and had barely time to reel to bed. He gave the cap a parting squeeze. and by a sudden action pressed it down upon its head.
and sitting up in bed to get his thoughts together. He felt that he was restored to consciousness in the right nick of time. Stave 3: The Second of the Three Spirits Awaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough snore. between which opposite extremes. and edit PDF. and lying down again. But. he wished to challenge the Spirit on the moment of its appearance. who plume themselves on being acquainted with a move or two. finding that he turned uncomfortably cold when he began to wonder which of his curtains this new spectre would draw back. Download the free trial version. and made nervous. For. and did not wish to be taken by surprise. established a sharp look-out all round the bed. Scrooge had no occasion to be told that the bell was again upon the stroke of One. express the wide range of their capacity for adventure by observing that they are good for anything from pitch-and-toss to manslaughter. no 63 of 138 . view. and being usually equal to the time-of-day. for the especial purpose of holding a conference with the second messenger despatched to him through Jacob Marley’s intervention. he put them every one aside with his own hands.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. Gentlemen of the free-and-easy sort.
he began to think that the source and secret of this 64 of 138 . ten minutes. for it is always the person not in the predicament who knows what ought to have been done in it. without having the consolation of knowing it. and would unquestionably have done it too — at last. consequently. when the Bell struck One. was more alarming than a dozen ghosts. however. Without venturing for Scrooge quite as hardily as this. being prepared for almost anything. and was sometimes apprehensive that he might be at that very moment an interesting case of spontaneous combustion. Five minutes. and which. At last. the very core and centre of a blaze of ruddy light. being only light. there lies a tolerably wide and comprehensive range of subjects. and that nothing between a baby and rhinoceros would have astonished him very much. I don’t mind calling on you to believe that he was ready for a good broad field of strange appearances. he was taken with a violent fit of trembling. and no shape appeared. I say. as he was powerless to make out what it meant. All this time.A Christmas Carol doubt. he was not by any means prepared for nothing. and. he began to think — as you or I would have thought at first. yet nothing came. he lay upon his bed. Now. or would be at. which streamed upon it when the clock proclaimed the hour. a quarter of an hour went by.
barrels of oysters. In easy 65 of 138 . poultry. immense twelfth-cakes. were turkeys. red-hot chestnuts. to form a kind of throne. mince-pies. a strange voice called him by his name. This idea taking full possession of his mind. The moment Scrooge’s hand was on the lock. It was his own room. from whence. from every part of which. He obeyed. mistletoe. There was no doubt about that. long wreaths of sausages. it seemed to shine. that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam. and bade him enter. game. But it had undergone a surprising transformation. The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green. on further tracing it. he got up softly and shuffled in his slippers to the door. and such a mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney. and seething bowls of punch. plum-puddings. geese.A Christmas Carol ghostly light might be in the adjoining room. as if so many little mirrors had been scattered there. cherry-cheeked apples. great joints of meat. Heaped up on the floor. bright gleaming berries glistened. as that dull petrification of a hearth had never known in Scrooge’s time. juicy oranges. that it looked a perfect grove. luscious pears. or for many and many a winter season gone. sucking-pigs. brawn. The crisp leaves of holly. and ivy reflected back the light. or Marley’s.
’ exclaimed the Ghost. its cheery voice. glorious to see. Girded round its middle was an antique 66 of 138 .’ said the Spirit. Its feet. or mantle. He was not the dogged Scrooge he had been. and on its head it wore no other covering than a holly wreath. man. and its joyful air. It was clothed in one simple green robe. Its dark brown curls were long and free. that its capacious breast was bare. in shape not unlike Plenty’s horn. ‘Come in. ‘I am the Ghost of Christmas Present. there sat a jolly Giant. high up.’ Scrooge reverently did so. and hung his head before this Spirit. ‘Come in. and held it up. and though the Spirit’s eyes were clear and kind. bordered with white fur. its sparkling eye.’ Scrooge entered timidly. and know me better.A Christmas Carol state upon this couch. as he came peeping round the door. observable beneath the ample folds of the garment. as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice. This garment hung so loosely on the figure. its open hand. who bore a glowing torch. its unconstrained demeanour. set here and there with shining icicles. ‘Look upon me. to shed its light on Scrooge. were also bare. free as its genial face. he did not like to meet them.
geese. if you have aught to teach me. ‘A tremendous family to provide for. the ruddy glow.’ muttered Scrooge. red berries. ‘Spirit. ivy. let me profit by it. So did the room. oysters.’ exclaimed the Spirit. and 67 of 138 . Spirit. ‘Have never walked forth with the younger members of my family. brawn. the hour of night. pies. Holly.’ said Scrooge submissively.’ Scrooge made answer to it. and I learnt a lesson which is working now.’ said the Ghost. ‘I am afraid I have not. puddings.’ conduct me where you will. poultry. ‘I don’t think I have. and held it fast. and the ancient sheath was eaten up with rust. To-night. all vanished instantly. game. ‘You have never seen the like of me before. mistletoe.’ Scrooge did as he was told.’ said Scrooge.’ ‘More than eighteen hundred. and punch.A Christmas Carol scabbard. meat. sausages.’ pursued the Phantom. pigs. meaning (for I am very young) my elder brothers born in these later years. I went forth last night on compulsion. turkeys. ‘Never. but no sword was in it. Have you had many brothers. the fire. fruit. The Ghost of Christmas Present rose.’ ‘Touch my robe.
where (for the weather was severe) the people made a rough. and from the tops of their houses. whose heavier particles descended in shower of sooty atoms. half frozen.A Christmas Carol they stood in the city streets on Christmas morning. and yet was there an air of cheerfulness abroad that the clearest summer air and 68 of 138 . but brisk and not unpleasant kind of music. and made intricate channels. in scraping the snow from the pavement in front of their dwellings. and the windows blacker. The sky was gloomy. There was nothing very cheerful in the climate or the town. and splitting into artificial little snow-storms. contrasting with the smooth white sheet of snow upon the roofs. and with the dirtier snow upon the ground. half thawed. as if all the chimneys in Great Britain had. hard to trace in the thick yellow mud and icy water. and the shortest streets were choked up with a dingy mist. and were blazing away to their dear hearts’ content. by one consent. whence it was mad delight to the boys to see it come plumping down into the road below. The house fronts looked black enough. which last deposit had been ploughed up in deep furrows by the heavy wheels of carts and waggons. furrows that crossed and recrossed each other hundreds of times where the great streets branched off. caught fire.
lolling at the doors. The poulterers’ shops were still half open. made. ancient walks among the woods. the people who were shovelling away on the housetops were jovial and full of glee. and winking from their shelves in wanton slyness at the girls as they went by. and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic opulence. there were piles of filberts. broad-girthed Spanish onions. and now and then exchanging a facetious snowball — better-natured missile far than many a wordy jest — laughing heartily if it went right and not less heartily if it went wrong. calling out to one another from the parapets. and glanced demurely at the hung-up mistletoe. clustered high in blooming pyramids. brown-faced.A Christmas Carol brightest summer sun might have endeavoured to diffuse in vain. and pleasant shufflings ankle deep through 69 of 138 . There were great. For. There were ruddy. recalling. pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts. in their fragrance. mossy and brown. round. in the shopkeepers’ benevolence to dangle from conspicuous hooks. There were pears and apples. that people’s mouths might water gratis as they passed. round. and the fruiterers’ were radiant in their glory. shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen. shining in the fatness of their growth like Spanish Friars. there were bunches of grapes.
to a fish. there were Norfolk Biffins. with perhaps two shutters down. or one. the almonds so extremely white. squab and swarthy. or that the French plums blushed in 70 of 138 . oh the Grocers’. went gasping round and round their little world in slow and passionless excitement. appeared to know that there was something going on. urgently entreating and beseeching to be carried home in paper bags and eaten after dinner. or that the twine and roller parted company so briskly. though members of a dull and stagnant-blooded race. The Grocers’. and. the sticks of cinnamon so long and straight. the other spices so delicious. the candied fruits so caked and spotted with molten sugar as to make the coldest lookers-on feel faint and subsequently bilious. or even that the raisins were so plentiful and rare. and. in the great compactness of their juicy persons.A Christmas Carol withered leaves. setting off the yellow of the oranges and lemons. nearly closed. Nor was it that the figs were moist and pulpy. The very gold and silver fish. or even that the blended scents of tea and coffee were so grateful to the nose. or that the canisters were rattled up and down like juggling tricks. set forth among these choice fruits in a bowl. but through those gaps such glimpses. It was not alone that the scales descending on the counter made a merry sound.
crashing their wicker baskets wildly. innumerable people. and committed hundreds of the like mistakes. for once or twice 71 of 138 . carrying their dinners to the baker’ shops. and for Christmas daws to peck at if they chose. in the best humour possible. The sight of these poor revellers appeared to interest the Spirit very much. worn outside for general inspection. and taking off the covers as their bearers passed. but the customers were all so hurried and so eager in the hopeful promise of the day. And it was a very uncommon kind of torch. while the Grocer and his people were so frank and fresh that the polished hearts with which they fastened their aprons behind might have been their own. and came running back to fetch them. and with their gayest faces. and away they came. for he stood with Scrooge beside him in a baker’s doorway. and nameless turnings. to church and chapel. or that everything was good to eat and in its Christmas dress. sprinkled incense on their dinners from his torch. that they tumbled up against each other at the door. flocking through the streets in their best clothes. lanes.A Christmas Carol modest tartness from their highly-decorated boxes. and left their purchases upon the counter. But soon the steeples called good people all. And at the same time there emerged from scores of byestreets.
’ ‘I. 72 of 138 .’ ‘Why to a poor one most. And so it was. in the thawed blotch of wet above each baker’s oven. ‘Is there a peculiar flavour in what you sprinkle from your torch.’ I wonder you. so it was. it was a shame to quarrel upon Christmas Day. In time the bells ceased.A Christmas Carol when there were angry words between some dinnercarriers who had jostled each other. and yet there was a genial shadowing forth of all these dinners and the progress of their cooking.’ asked Scrooge. should desire to cramp these people’s opportunities of innocent enjoyment.’ said Scrooge. For they said. of all the beings in the many worlds about us. My own. To a poor one most. where the pavement smoked as if its stones were cooking too. after a moment’s thought.’ asked Scrooge.’ cried the Spirit. and the bakers were shut up. and their good humour was restored directly. God love it. ‘There is. he shed a few drops of water on them from it.’ ‘Would it apply to any kind of dinner on this day. ‘To any kindly given.’ ‘Spirit.’ asked Scrooge. ‘Because it needs it most.
as if they had never lived. who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin. as they had been before. and they went on.’ cried the Spirit. pride. not us.’ said Scrooge. ill-will.’ ‘I seek. often the only day on which they can be said to dine at all.’ said Scrooge. Remember that. ‘And it comes to the same thing. into the suburbs of the town. as it was possible he could have done in any lofty hall. and selfishness in our name. that notwithstanding his gigantic size. or at least in that of your family.’ ‘I. bigotry. ‘Wouldn’t you. It was a remarkable quality of the Ghost (which Scrooge had observed at the baker’s). invisible. ‘Forgive me if I am wrong. he could accommodate himself to any place with ease.’ Scrooge promised that he would.’ exclaimed the Spirit. and who do their deeds of passion. envy.’ returned the Spirit.A Christmas Carol ‘You would deprive them of their means of dining every seventh day. and charge their doings on themselves.’ said Scrooge. and that he stood beneath a low roof quite as gracefully and like a supernatural creature.’ who lay claim to know us. It has been done in your name. hatred. 73 of 138 . ‘You seek to close these places on the Seventh Day. ‘There are some upon this earth of yours.
assisted by Belinda Cratchit. Think of that. rejoiced to find himself so gallantly attired. or else it was his own kind. screaming that outside the baker’s they had smelt the goose. and stopped to bless Bob Cratchit’s dwelling with the sprinkling of his torch. holding to his robe. and getting the corners of his monstrous shirt collar (Bob’s private property. second of her daughters. and she laid the cloth. also brave in ribbons. and known it for their 74 of 138 . and his sympathy with all poor men. while Master Peter Cratchit plunged a fork into the saucepan of potatoes. he pocketed on Saturdays but fifteen copies of his Christian name. generous. which are cheap and make a goodly show for sixpence. and yet the Ghost of Christmas Present blessed his four-roomed house. conferred upon his son and heir in honour of the day) into his mouth. for there he went. And now two smaller Cratchits. and yearned to show his linen in the fashionable Parks. boy and girl. came tearing in. Cratchit’s wife. hearty nature. and on the threshold of the door the Spirit smiled. and took Scrooge with him. that led him straight to Scrooge’s clerk’s. but brave in ribbons. dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown.A Christmas Carol And perhaps it was the pleasure the good Spirit had in showing off this power of his. Bob had but fifteen bob a-week himself. Then up rose Mrs Cratchit.
eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. ‘What has ever got your precious father then.’ and had to clear away this morning. Martha. ‘Here’s Martha. no. and basking in luxurious thoughts of sage and onion.’ ‘Why.’ ‘No. hide. mother. appearing as she spoke. bless your heart alive.’ said Mrs Cratchit. mother. There’s father coming. and have a warm. view.’ cried the two young Cratchits. while he (not proud.’ said Mrs Cratchit. ‘Sit ye down before the fire. these young Cratchits danced about the table. how late you are. knocked loudly at the saucepan-lid to be let out and peeled.’ cried the two young Cratchits. ‘We’d a deal of work to finish up last night. mother. although his collars nearly choked him) blew the fire. ‘And your brother. my dear. my dear. who were everywhere at once.’ said a girl. kissing her a dozen times.’ replied the girl. and taking off her shawl and bonnet for her with officious zeal. ‘Hurrah. Never mind so long as you are come.’ 75 of 138 . Tiny Tim. and exalted Master Peter Cratchit to the skies.’ said Mrs Cratchit. own. Download the free trial version. Martha. And Martha warn’t as late last Christmas Day by half-an-hour.’ ‘Well. until the slow potatoes bubbling up. and edit PDF. There’s such a goose.’ ‘Here’s Martha. Lord bless ye. ‘Hide.
and thinks the 76 of 138 . sitting by himself so much. with a sudden declension in his high spirits. so she came out prematurely from behind the closet door.’ said Bob.A Christmas Carol So Martha hid herself.’ Martha didn’t like to see him disappointed. for he had been Tim’s blood horse all the way from church.’ cried Bob Cratchit. and bore him off into the wash-house. ‘Not coming. the father. hanging down before him. Somehow he gets thoughtful. and Tiny Tim upon his shoulder. when she had rallied Bob on his credulity. if it were only in joke. and had come home rampant. ‘And how did little Tim behave. with at least three feet of comforter exclusive of the fringe. ‘Not coming. and Bob had hugged his daughter to his heart’s content. to look seasonable. ‘As good as gold. asked Mrs Cratchit. ‘Not coming upon Christmas Day. and ran into his arms. and had his limbs supported by an iron frame.’ and better. that he might hear the pudding singing in the copper. and his threadbare clothes darned up and brushed. and in came little Bob.’ said Bob. ‘Why. Alas for Tiny Tim. looking round. while the two young Cratchits hustled Tiny Tim.’ said Mrs Cratchit. where’s our Martha. he bore a little crutch.
A Christmas Carol strangest things you ever heard. and the two ubiquitous young Cratchits went to fetch the goose. and blind men see. turning up his cuffs — as if. and stirred it round and round and put it on the hob to simmer. they were capable of being made more shabby — compounded some hot mixture in a jug with gin and lemons. Mrs Cratchit made the gravy (ready beforehand in a little saucepan) hissing hot. He told me. His active little crutch was heard upon the floor. and trembled more when he said that Tiny Tim was growing strong and hearty. escorted by his brother and sister to his stool before the fire. to which a black swan was a matter of course — and in truth it was something very like it in that house. with which they soon returned in high procession. Master Peter mashed the potatoes with 77 of 138 . that he hoped the people saw him in the church.’ Bob’s voice was tremulous when he told them this. and while Bob. who made lame beggars walk. because he was a cripple. poor fellow. and back came Tiny Tim before another word was spoken. Such a bustle ensued that you might have thought a goose the rarest of all birds. and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day. a feathered phenomenon. Master Peter. coming home.
Bob took Tiny Tim beside him in a tiny corner at the table. Its tenderness and flavour. excited by the two young Cratchits. and the youngest Cratchits in particular. and when the long expected gush of stuffing issued forth. and even Tiny Tim. were the themes of universal admiration. At last the dishes were set on. they hadn’t ate it all at last. but when she did. indeed. prepared to plunge it in the breast. as Mrs Cratchit. It was succeeded by a breathless pause. Eked out by apple-sauce and mashed potatoes. There never was such a goose. and grace was said. not forgetting themselves. one murmur of delight arose all round the board. crammed spoons into their mouths. it was a sufficient dinner for the whole family. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. Yet every one had had enough. Miss Belinda sweetened up the applesauce. looking slowly all along the carving-knife. as Mrs Cratchit said with great delight (surveying one small atom of a bone upon the dish). and feebly cried Hurrah. and mounting guard upon their posts.A Christmas Carol incredible vigour. Martha dusted the hot plates. lest they should shriek for goose before their turn came to be helped. size and cheapness. beat on the table with the handle of his knife. the two young Cratchits set chairs for everybody. were steeped in sage and 78 of 138 .
The pudding was out of the copper. with a laundress’s next door to that. while they were merry with the goose — a supposition at which the two young Cratchits became livid. Bob Cratchit said. That was the pudding. Suppose it should break in turning out. Suppose it should not be done enough. Mrs Cratchit said that now the weight was off her mind. A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook’s next door to each other. the plates being changed by Miss Belinda. but smiling proudly — with the pudding. Suppose somebody should have got over the wall of the back-yard. A smell like a washing-day. A great deal of steam. like a speckled cannon-ball. and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top. so hard and firm. blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy.A Christmas Carol onion to the eyebrows. That was the cloth. In half a minute Mrs Cratchit entered — flushed. that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs Cratchit since their marriage. But now. Mrs Cratchit left the room alone — too nervous to bear witnesses — to take the pudding up and bring it in. and stolen it. and calmly too. All sorts of horrors were supposed. she would confess she had had her doubts about the quantity 79 of 138 . Oh. Hallo. a wonderful pudding.
Bob held his withered little hand in his. At last the dinner was all done. the last of all. and wished to keep him by his side. and a shovel-full of chestnuts on the fire. but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. Then Bob proposed: ‘A Merry Christmas to us all. while the chestnuts on the fire sputtered and cracked noisily. the hearth swept. Then all the Cratchit family drew round the hearth. my dears. Two tumblers. He sat very close to his father’s side upon his little stool. and the fire made up. and Bob served it out with beaming looks. It would have been flat heresy to do so. The compound in the jug being tasted. apples and oranges were put upon the table. and dreaded that he might be taken from him. as well as golden goblets would have done. the cloth was cleared. Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing. God bless us.’ Which all the family re-echoed.A Christmas Carol of flour. ‘God bless us every one. meaning half a one. and considered perfect. and at Bob Cratchit’s elbow stood the family display of glass. These held the hot stuff from the jug. in what Bob Cratchit called a circle. 80 of 138 .’ said Tiny Tim. however. and a custard-cup without a handle. as if he loved the child. Everybody had something to say about it.
’ Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit. and a crutch without an owner. not adamant. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future. the child will die.A Christmas Carol ‘Spirit.’ ‘No. with an interest he had never felt before. say he will be spared. and was overcome with penitence and grief. ‘if man you be in heart. Oh God. no.’ ‘I see a vacant seat. none other of my race. kind Spirit.’ replied the Ghost. that in the sight of Heaven. Will you decide what men shall live.’ ‘If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future. ‘in the poor chimney-corner.’ said Scrooge. It may be. he had better do it. to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust. What then.’ returned the Ghost. ‘Oh. ‘will find him here. no. If he be like to die.’ said the Ghost. what men shall die. ‘Man. ‘tell me if Tiny Tim will live. forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is.’ said Scrooge.’ 81 of 138 . and decrease the surplus population. carefully preserved. you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. and Where it is.
unfeeling man as Mr Scrooge. But he raised them speedily.’ ‘My dear. Long life to him. ‘the children. ‘Christmas Day. Christmas Day.’ said Mrs Cratchit.A Christmas Carol Scrooge bent before the Ghost’s rebuke. on hearing his own name. ‘not for his. ‘I’ll give you Mr Scrooge. I’d give him a piece of my mind to feast upon.’ said Bob. and I hope he’d have a good appetite for it.’ ‘The Founder of the Feast indeed. ‘Mr Scrooge. I have no doubt.’ ‘It should be Christmas Day. reddening. but he didn’t care twopence for it. ‘on which one drinks the health of such an odious. Nobody knows it better than you do.’ ‘My dear. Robert.’ said she. the Founder of the Feast.’ cried Mrs Cratchit. and trembling cast his eyes upon the ground. stingy. Scrooge was the Ogre of the family. ‘I wish I had him here. You know he is.’ The children drank the toast after her. poor fellow.’ ‘I’ll drink his health for your sake and the Day’s.’ said Bob. I am sure. Tiny Tim drank it last of all. The mention of his 82 of 138 .’ was Bob’s mild answer. hard. He’ll be very merry and very happy. A merry Christmas and a happy new year. It was the first of their proceedings which had no heartiness.
and by-andbye they had a song. as if he were deliberating what particular investments he should favour when he came into the receipt of that bewildering income. they were ten times merrier than before. full five-and-sixpence weekly. which was not dispelled for full five minutes. Martha. The two young Cratchits laughed tremendously at the idea of Peter’s being a man of business. then told them what kind of work she had to do. at which Peter pulled up his collars so high that you couldn’t have seen his head if you had been there. and how many hours she worked at a stretch. and how the lord was much about as tall as Peter.A Christmas Carol name cast a dark shadow on the party. about a lost child travelling in the 83 of 138 . and Peter himself looked thoughtfully at the fire from between his collars. All this time the chestnuts and the jug went round and round. who was a poor apprentice at a milliner’s. and how she meant to lie abed to-morrow morning for a good long rest. After it had passed away. to-morrow being a holiday she passed at home. if obtained. from the mere relief of Scrooge the Baleful being done with. which would bring in. Also how she had seen a countess and a lord some days before. Bob Cratchit told them how he had a situation in his eye for Master Peter.
Scrooge had his eye upon them. cousins.A Christmas Carol snow. uncles. pleased with one another. again. and looked happier yet in the bright sprinklings of the Spirit’s torch at parting. was wonderful. the brightness of the roaring fires in kitchens. and snowing pretty heavily. and be the first to greet them. their clothes were scanty. There all the children of the house were running out into the snow to meet their married sisters. and contented with the time. Here. were shadows on the windowblind of guests assembling. By this time it was getting dark. they were not well dressed. and sang it very well indeed. from Tiny Tim. ready to be drawn to shut out cold and darkness. until the last. But. and Peter might have known. they were happy. who had a plaintive little voice. and deep red curtains. grateful. their shoes were far from being water-proof. Here. and there a group of handsome 84 of 138 . They were not a handsome family. the flickering of the blaze showed preparations for a cosy dinner. and especially on Tiny Tim. brothers. with hot plates baking through and through before the fire. and very likely did. and when they faded. There was nothing of high mark in this. and all sorts of rooms. parlours. and as Scrooge and the Spirit went along the streets. aunts. the inside of a pawnbroker’s.
how the Ghost exulted. And now. outpouring. if you had judged from the numbers of people on their way to friendly gatherings. without a word of warning from the Ghost. who ran on before. well they knew it — in a glow. and all chattering at once. How it bared its breadth of breast. woe upon the single man who saw them enter — artful witches. as though it were the burial-place of giants. its bright and harmless mirth on everything within its reach. you might have thought that no one was at home to give them welcome when they got there.A Christmas Carol girls. where monstrous masses of rude stone were cast about. all hooded and fur-booted. where. or would have done so. The very lamplighter. though little kenned the lamplighter that he had any company but Christmas. and nothing grew but moss and 85 of 138 . instead of every house expecting company. But. tripped lightly off to some near neighbour’s house. and who was dressed to spend the evening somewhere. but for the frost that held it prisoner. and opened its capacious palm. and water spread itself wheresoever it listed. and floated on. and piling up its fires half-chimney high. laughed out loudly as the Spirit passed. Blessings on it. with a generous hand. dotting the dusky street with specks of light. they stood upon a bleak and desert moor.
was singing them a Christmas song — it had been a very old song when he was a boy — and from time to time they all joined in the chorus. which glared upon the desolation for an instant. Passing through the wall of mud and stone. the old man got quite blithe and loud.’ asked Scrooge. The Spirit did not tarry here. old man and woman.’ returned the Spirit. ‘What place is this.’ A light shone from the window of a hut. all decked out gaily in their holiday attire. and passing on above the moor. An old. lower. ‘But they know me. his vigour sank again. like a sullen eye. ‘A place where Miners live. lower yet. The old man. who labour in the bowels of the earth. with their children and their children’s children. and so surely as they stopped. So surely as they raised their voices. was lost in the thick gloom of darkest night. but bade Scrooge hold his robe. sped — whither. and swiftly they advanced towards it. they found a cheerful company assembled round a glowing fire. See. in a voice that seldom rose above the howling of the wind upon the barren waste. and coarse rank grass.A Christmas Carol furze. 86 of 138 . and another generation beyond that. and frowning lower. Down in the west the setting sun had left a streak of fiery red.
Not to sea. like the waves they skimmed. Download the free trial version. they wished each other Merry Christmas in their can of grog. looking back. as the figure-head of an old ship might be: struck up a sturdy song that was like a Gale in itself. and storm-birds — born of the wind one might suppose. two men who watched the light had made a fire. To sea.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. view. a frightful range of rocks. and fiercely tried to undermine the earth. being far away. some league or so from shore. there stood a solitary lighthouse. as sea-weed of the water — rose and fell about it. Built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks. Joining their horny hands over the rough table at which they sat. with his face all damaged and scarred with hard weather. on which the waters chafed and dashed. To Scrooge’s horror. above the black and heaving sea — on. as he told Scrooge. he saw the last of the land. as it rolled and roared. and raged among the dreadful caverns it had worn. that through the loophole in the thick stone wall shed out a ray of brightness on the awful sea. too. behind them. and one of them: the elder. on — until. the wild year through. 87 of 138 . and edit PDF. Again the Ghost sped on. But even here. Great heaps of sea-weed clung to its base. and his ears were deafened by the thundering of water.
and thinking what a solemn thing it was to move on through the lonely darkness over an unknown abyss. the look-out in the bow. ha. ‘Ha. and had remembered those he cared for at a distance. It was a great surprise to Scrooge. or spoke below his breath to his companion of some bygone Christmas Day. and had shared to some extent in its festivities. while thus engaged. and had known that they delighted to remember him. and looking at that same nephew with approving affability. while listening to the moaning of the wind. the officers who had the watch. with homeward hopes belonging to it. waking or sleeping.’ laughed Scrooge’s nephew. whose depths were secrets as profound as Death: it was a great surprise to Scrooge.A Christmas Carol from any shore. ha. good or bad. gleaming room. they lighted on a ship. It was a much greater surprise to Scrooge to recognise it as his own nephew’s and to find himself in a bright. dark. to hear a hearty laugh. They stood beside the helmsman at the wheel. ‘Ha. with the Spirit standing smiling by his side. dry.’ 88 of 138 . or had a Christmas thought. ha. ghostly figures in their several stations. And every man on board. had had a kinder word for another on that day than on any day in the year. but every man among them hummed a Christmas tune.
that melted into one another when she laughed. And their assembled friends being not a bit behindhand. a ripe little mouth. With a dimpled. roared out lustily. and twisting his face into the most extravagant contortions: Scrooge’s niece.’ cried Scrooge’s nephew. She was very pretty: exceedingly pretty. as I live. there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour. to know a man more blest in a laugh than Scrooge’s nephew. that seemed made to be kissed — as no doubt it was.’ said Scrooge’s niece.A Christmas Carol If you should happen. by marriage. I should like to know him too. Ha.’ ‘He said that Christmas was a humbug. and I’ll cultivate his acquaintance. ‘Ha. and the 89 of 138 . they never do anything by halves.’ ‘More shame for him. ha. Bless those women. even-handed. rolling his head. capital face. It is a fair. ha. all I can say is. noble adjustment of things. Fred. that while there is infection in disease and sorrow. laughed as heartily as he. ha. surprised-looking. They are always in earnest. When Scrooge’s nephew laughed in this way: holding his sides. indignantly. ha. ‘He believed it too. all kinds of good little dots about her chin. by any unlikely chance. Introduce him to me.
’ hinted Scrooge’s niece. Who suffers by his ill whims.’ said Scrooge’s nephew.’ ‘What of that. — that he is ever going to benefit us with it. Here. ha. However. Scrooge’s niece’s sisters.’ ‘I’m sure he is very rich. Fred. expressed the same opinion. ‘His wealth is of no use to him. and I have nothing to say against him. He don’t make himself comfortable with it. He hasn’t the satisfaction of thinking — ha. ha. he takes it into his head to dislike us. Altogether she was what you would have called provoking. ‘He’s a comical old fellow.’ that’s the truth: and not so pleasant as he might be. but satisfactory. 90 of 138 .’ ‘Indeed.’ said Scrooge’s nephew.’ interrupted Scrooge’s niece.’ ‘I have no patience with him. I have. I think he loses a very good dinner. and all the other ladies.’ observed Scrooge’s niece. He don’t lose much of a dinner.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. his offences carry their own punishment. ‘I am sorry for him.A Christmas Carol sunniest pair of eyes you ever saw in any little creature’s head. always. I couldn’t be angry with him if I tried. and he won’t come and dine with us. Everybody else said the same. He don’t do any good with it. you know. Himself. ‘Oh. my dear. ‘At least you always tell me so. What’s the consequence.
Whereat Scrooge’s niece’s sister — the plump one with the lace tucker: not the one with the roses — blushed. What do you say. with the dessert upon the table. is. which could do him no harm. because they had just had dinner.’ that the consequence of his taking a dislike to us.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. He is such a ridiculous fellow. by lamplight.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. ‘He never finishes what he begins to say. Fred. ‘because I haven’t great faith in these young housekeepers. Topper. ‘Well. were clustered round the fire. though the plump sister tried hard to do it with aromatic vinegar. and not making merry with us.’ Scrooge’s nephew revelled in another laugh. ‘Do go on. his example was unanimously followed.A Christmas Carol and they must be allowed to have been competent judges.’ said Scrooge’s niece. ‘I was only going to say. I am 91 of 138 . who had no right to express an opinion on the subject. clapping her hands. as I think. and.’ Topper had clearly got his eye upon one of Scrooge’s niece’s sisters. I’m very glad to hear it. that he loses some pleasant moments. for he answered that a bachelor was a wretched outcast. and as it was impossible to keep the infection off.
He may rail at Christmas till he dies. and never swell the large veins in his forehead. which had been familiar to the child who 92 of 138 .A Christmas Carol sure he loses pleasanter companions than he can find in his own thoughts. and not much caring what they laughed at. For they were a musical family. I mean to give him the same chance every year. or get red in the face over it. but he can’t help thinking better of it — I defy him — if he finds me going there. or his dusty chambers. in good temper. and passed the bottle joyously. how are you. and I think I shook him yesterday. that’s something. year after year. he encouraged them in their merriment. But being thoroughly good-natured. they had some music. so that they laughed at any rate. for I pity him. I can assure you: especially Topper. and played among other tunes a simple little air (a mere nothing: you might learn to whistle it in two minutes).’ It was their turn to laugh now at the notion of his shaking Scrooge. After tea. who could growl away in the bass like a good one. and saying Uncle Scrooge. Scrooge’s niece played well upon the harp. either in his mouldy old office. If it only puts him in the vein to leave his poor clerk fifty pounds. when they sung a Glee or Catch. and knew what they were about. whether he likes it or not.
If you had fallen up against him (as some of them did).A Christmas Carol fetched Scrooge from the boarding-school. for it is good to be children sometimes. Stop. and that the Ghost of Christmas Present knew it. he might have cultivated the kindnesses of life for his own happiness with his own hands. tumbling over the chairs. was an outrage on the credulity of human nature. Of course there was. he softened more and more. He wouldn’t catch anybody else. and never better than at Christmas. And I no more believe Topper was really blind than I believe he had eyes in his boots. that it was a done thing between him and Scrooge’s nephew. all the things that Ghost had shown him. came upon his mind. and thought that if he could have listened to it often. The way he went after that plump sister in the lace tucker. There was first a game at blind-man’s buff. My opinion is. After a while they played at forfeits. there went he. wherever she went. smothering himself among the curtains. when its mighty Founder was a child himself. But they didn’t devote the whole evening to music. When this strain of music sounded. years ago. Knocking down the fire-irons. as he had been reminded by the Ghost of Christmas Past. without resorting to the sexton’s spade that buried Jacob Marley. bumping against the piano. on 93 of 138 . He always knew where the plump sister was.
they were so very confidential together. For his pretending not to know her.A Christmas Carol purpose. Scrooge’s niece was not one of the blind-man’s buff party. and it really was not. his pretending that it was necessary to touch her head-dress. Likewise at the game of How. he would have made a feint of endeavouring to seize you. was vile. and further to assure himself of her identity by pressing a certain ring upon her finger. in a snug corner. She often cried out that it wasn’t fair. No doubt she told him her opinion of it. which would have been an affront to your understanding. she was very great. and Where. when. and loved her love to admiration with all the letters of the alphabet. beat her sisters hollow: though they 94 of 138 . he got her into a corner whence there was no escape. But she joined in the forfeits. and would instantly have sidled off in the direction of the plump sister. in spite of all her silken rustlings. when. monstrous. and a certain chain about her neck. and her rapid flutterings past him. When. another blind-man being in office. behind the curtains. but was made comfortable with a large chair and a footstool. he caught her. then his conduct was the most execrable. and to the secret joy of Scrooge’s nephew. But when at last. where the Ghost and Scrooge were close behind her.
and wasn’t made a show of. ‘One half hour. and walked about the streets.A Christmas Carol were sharp girls too. There might have been twenty people there. and talked sometimes. and wasn’t 95 of 138 . and so did Scrooge. Spirit. But this the Spirit said could not be done.’ It was a Game called Yes and No. he only answering to their questions yes or no.’ said Scrooge. was not sharper than Scrooge. where Scrooge’s nephew had to think of something. for. and lived in London. as the case was. elicited from him that he was thinking of an animal. warranted not to cut in the eye. blunt as he took it in his head to be. best Whitechapel. that his voice made no sound in their ears. rather a disagreeable animal. ‘Here is a new game. as could have told you. he sometimes came out with his guess quite loud. The Ghost was greatly pleased to find him in this mood. for the sharpest needle. and looked upon him with such favour. but they all played. wholly forgetting the interest he had in what was going on. The brisk fire of questioning to which he was exposed. a savage animal. a live animal. young and old. an animal that growled and grunted sometimes. only one. that he begged like a boy to be allowed to stay until the guests departed. too. and the rest must find out what. and very often guessed quite right.
this nephew burst into a fresh roar of laughter. though some objected that the reply to ‘Is it a bear. or a bull. Admiration was the universal sentiment. and didn’t live in a menagerie. or an ass. supposing they had ever had any tendency that way.’ Which it certainly was.’ ought to have been ‘Yes.’ they cried. At every fresh question that was put to him.’ and it would be ungrateful not to drink his health. 96 of 138 . and was never killed in a market. Uncle Scrooge. cried out: ‘I have found it out. and was so inexpressibly tickled. I know what it is. At last the plump sister. or a bear.‘‘ ‘Well.’ inasmuch as an answer in the negative was sufficient to have diverted their thoughts from Mr Scrooge. and was not a horse. or a cat. or a pig. I know what it is. or a dog. or a tiger. Fred.A Christmas Carol led by anybody.’ cried Fred. Here is a glass of mulled wine ready to our hand at the moment. ‘He has given us plenty of merriment. I am sure. ‘Uncle Scrooge.’ said Fred.’ ‘What is it. falling into a similar state. or a cow. and I say. ‘It’s your Uncle Scrooge. that he was obliged to get up off the sofa and stamp.
because the Christmas Holidays appeared to be condensed into the space of time they passed together. and they were cheerful. and jail. whatever he is. and many homes they visited. he left his blessing.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. Much they saw. that he would have pledged the unconscious company in return. by struggling men. if the Ghost had given him time. if it were only a night.’ Uncle Scrooge had imperceptibly become so gay and light of heart. but may he have it. but Scrooge had his doubts of this. on foreign lands. nevertheless.A Christmas Carol ‘A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the old man. hospital. and taught Scrooge his precepts. and far they went. and it was rich. by poverty. ‘He wouldn’t take it from me. that while Scrooge 97 of 138 . but always with a happy end. and they were patient in their greater hope. Uncle Scrooge. It was strange. and he and the Spirit were again upon their travels. In almshouse. The Spirit stood beside sick beds. where vain man in his little brief authority had not made fast the door and barred the Spirit out. too. It was a long night. and thanked them in an inaudible speech. in misery’s every refuge. and they were close at home. But the whole scene passed off in the breath of the last word spoken by his nephew.
miserable. for the flesh there is upon it.’ asked Scrooge. is very brief. ‘It ends to-night.’ said Scrooge. The time is drawing near. ‘Look here. frightful. and not belonging to yourself. wretched. ‘Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask.’ was the Spirit’s sorrowful reply. protruding from your skirts. he noticed that its hair was grey. Is it a foot or a claw. ‘Are spirits’ lives so short. the Ghost grew older.’ The chimes were ringing the three quarters past eleven at that moment.’ replied the Ghost. ‘My life upon this globe. looking intently at the Spirit’s robe. They knelt down at its feet. and clung upon the outside of its garment. when. clearly older. Hark. Scrooge had observed this change. 98 of 138 . until they left a children’s Twelfth Night party.’ cried Scrooge. it brought two children.’ but I see something strange. ‘To-night at midnight.A Christmas Carol remained unaltered in his outward form.’ ‘It might be a claw.’ ‘To-night. abject.’ From the foldings of its robe. hideous. looking at the Spirit as they stood together in an open place. but never spoke of it.
‘They are Man’s. view. has monsters half so horrible and dread. No change. and glared out menacing. Look. 99 of 138 . are they yours. rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude. Beware them both.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. unless the writing be erased. a stale and shrivelled hand. devils lurked. in their humility. Yellow. ‘And they cling to me.’ exclaimed the Ghost. had pinched. look here. in any grade. appealing from their fathers.’ Scrooge could say no more. no perversion of humanity. They were a boy and a girl. looking down upon them. for on his brow I see that written which is Doom. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out. wolfish. look. Man. like that of age. and edit PDF. and pulled them into shreds. Scrooge started back. Having them shown to him in this way.’ said the Spirit. ‘Oh. ragged. and touched them with its freshest tints. This boy is Ignorance. and all of their degree. down here. but prostrate. meagre. and twisted them. he tried to say they were fine children.’ cried the Spirit. Deny it. but the words choked themselves. Where angels might have sat enthroned. ‘Spirit. but most of all beware this boy. too. Download the free trial version. through all the mysteries of wonderful creation. This girl is Want. no degradation. scowling. appalled.
turning on him for the last time with his own words. As the last stroke ceased to vibrate. 100 of 138 .’ The bell struck twelve. and make it worse. beheld a solemn Phantom. Scrooge looked about him for the Ghost.’ cried Scrooge.’ ‘Have they no refuge or resource. ‘Slander those who tell it ye. and saw it not.A Christmas Carol stretching out its hand towards the city. and lifting up his eyes. ‘Are there no workhouses. draped and hooded. Admit it for your factious purposes. coming. like a mist along the ground. And abide the end. towards him. ‘Are there no prisons.’ said the Spirit. he remembered the prediction of old Jacob Marley.
and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand.’ Scrooge pursued. for in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery. ‘You are about to show me shadows of the things that have not happened. But for this it would have been difficult to detach its figure from the night. and that its mysterious presence filled him with a solemn dread. which concealed its head. He felt that it was tall and stately when it came beside him. The Spirit answered not. He knew no more. but will happen in the time before us. silently approached. Scrooge bent down upon his knee. and separate it from the darkness by which it was surrounded. ‘Is that so. for the Spirit neither spoke nor moved.A Christmas Carol Stave 4: The Last of the Spirits The Phantom slowly.’ 101 of 138 . its form. It was shrouded in a deep black garment. ‘I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. but pointed onward with its hand.’ said Scrooge. its face. When it came. gravely. Spirit.
102 of 138 . Will you not speak to me.’ I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. Although well used to ghostly company by this time. ‘Ghost of the Future. and do it with a thankful heart. The hand was pointed straight before them. though he stretched his own to the utmost. But as I know your purpose is to do me good. to know that behind the dusky shroud.A Christmas Carol The upper portion of the garment was contracted for an instant in its folds. while he. as observing his condition. Scrooge feared the silent shape so much that his legs trembled beneath him. as if the Spirit had inclined its head. and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was. and giving him time to recover. I am prepared to bear you company.’ It gave him no reply. The Spirit pauses a moment. there were ghostly eyes intently fixed upon him. could see nothing but a spectral hand and one great heap of black. That was the only answer he received. But Scrooge was all the worse for this.’ he exclaimed. and he found that he could hardly stand when he prepared to follow it. It thrilled him with a vague uncertain horror.
which bore him up.’ I don’t know much about it. who hurried up and down. and so forth. They scarcely seemed to enter the city. Lead on. The night is waning fast. as Scrooge had seen them often. and trifled thoughtfully with their great gold seals. and it is precious time to me. Observing that the hand was pointed to them. amongst the merchants. The Spirit stopped beside one little knot of business men. Scrooge followed in the shadow of its dress. I believe. and encompass them of its own act.’ said a great fat man with a monstrous chin. ‘No. and conversed in groups.’ said Scrooge. for the city rather seemed to spring up about them. I know. Spirit.’ ‘When did he die.’ The Phantom moved away as it had come towards him. and carried him along.’ 103 of 138 .A Christmas Carol ‘Lead on. I only know he’s dead. Scrooge advanced to listen to their talk. either way. in the heart of it. he thought. on Change. ‘Last night. ‘Lead on. and chinked the money in their pockets. But there they were.’ inquired another. and looked at their watches.
A Christmas Carol ‘Why. ‘Well. perhaps.’ ‘I don’t mind going if a lunch is provided. He hasn’t left it to me.’ said the same speaker.’ Another laugh.’ asked a red-faced gentleman with a pendulous excrescence on the end of his nose. if anybody else will. for we used to stop and speak whenever we met. When I come to think of it. yawning again.’ for I never wear black gloves. Suppose we make up a party and volunteer. But I’ll offer to go.’ observed the gentleman with the excrescence on his nose. ‘But I must be fed. I am the most disinterested among you. if I make one. That’s all I know.’ 104 of 138 .’ for upon my life I don’t know of anybody to go to it.’ ‘God knows. ‘I thought he’d never die.’ This pleasantry was received with a general laugh. and I never eat lunch. bye. that shook like the gills of a turkey-cock. taking a vast quantity of snuff out of a very large snuffbox.’ said the man with the large chin.’ said the first speaker. ‘What has he done with his money. ‘It’s likely to be a very cheap funeral.’ asked a third. ‘Left it to his company. Bye. with a yawn. I’m not at all sure that I wasn’t his most particular friend. ‘I haven’t heard. what was the matter with him. after all.’ said the first.
Scrooge was at first inclined to be surprised that the Spirit should attach importance to conversations apparently so trivial. Good morning.’ ‘So I am told.’ returned the other. You’re not a skater. That was their meeting. also. ‘Cold.’ said the first. ‘How are you. isn’t it.’ returned the second. hey.’ ‘Seasonable for Christmas time.’ said one. thinking that the explanation might lie here. No. He had made a point always of standing well in their esteem: in a business point of view. Something else to think of. He knew these men. and their parting. The Phantom glided on into a street. but feeling assured that they must 105 of 138 . that is. perfectly.A Christmas Carol Speakers and listeners strolled away. ‘Old Scratch has got his own at last. Scrooge knew the men. their conversation. I suppose. Its finger pointed to two persons meeting.’ ‘No. Scrooge listened again. and of great importance. ‘How are you. They were men of aye business: very wealthy.’ Not another word. and looked towards the Spirit for an explanation. ‘Well. and mixed with other groups. strictly in a business point of view.
Nor could he think of any one immediately connected with himself. 106 of 138 . and though the clock pointed to his usual time of day for being there. and especially to observe the shadow of himself when it appeared. he fancied from the turn of the hand. to whom he could apply them. and this Ghost’s province was the Future. but another man stood in his accustomed corner. and would render the solution of these riddles easy. They could scarcely be supposed to have any bearing on the death of Jacob. however. For he had an expectation that the conduct of his future self would give him the clue he missed. It gave him little surprise. for that was Past. for he had been revolving in his mind a change of life.A Christmas Carol have some hidden purpose. with its outstretched hand. and everything he saw. he saw no likeness of himself among the multitudes that poured in through the Porch. But nothing doubting that to whomsoever they applied they had some latent moral for his own improvement. When he roused himself from his thoughtful quest. beside him stood the Phantom. and thought and hoped he saw his new-born resolutions carried out in this. he set himself to consider what it was likely to be. Quiet and dark. his old partner. He looked about in that very place for his own image. he resolved to treasure up every word he heard.
were piled up heaps of rusty keys. although he recognised its situation. nails. Sitting in among the wares he dealt in. They left the busy scene.A Christmas Carol and its situation in reference to himself. there was a lowbrowed. Upon the floor within. upon the straggling streets. like so many cesspools. slipshod. that the Unseen Eyes were looking at him keenly. and sepulchres of bones. and the whole quarter reeked with crime. old rags. 107 of 138 . below a pent-house roof. and refuse iron of all kinds. by a charcoal stove. and feel very cold. files. Far in this den of infamous resort. and life. were bought. made of old bricks. disgorged their offences of smell. weights. It made him shudder. chains. nearly seventy years of age. and dirt. by a frousy curtaining of miscellaneous tatters. where Scrooge had never penetrated before. where iron. drunken. who had screened himself from the cold air without. the shops and houses wretched. the people half-naked. The ways were foul and narrow. ugly. with filth. was a grey-haired rascal. and misery. beetling shop. masses of corrupted fat. bottles. and greasy offal. scales. Alleys and archways. and its bad repute. and went into an obscure part of the town. bones. hinges. Secrets that few would like to scrutinise were bred and hidden in mountains of unseemly rags.
Look here. Ha. similarly laden. when another woman.’ said old Joe.’ cried she who had entered first. removing his pipe from his mouth. just as a woman with a heavy bundle slunk into the shop. Ah.A Christmas Carol hung upon a line. You were made free of it long ago. and smoked his pipe in all the luxury of calm retirement. they all three burst into a laugh. came in too. and I’m sure there’s no such old bones here. as mine. than they had been upon the recognition of each other. How it skreeks. I believe. ‘Let the laundress alone to be the second. ha. and let the undertaker’s man alone to be the third. 108 of 138 . But she had scarcely entered. you know. who was no less startled by the sight of them. and she was closely followed by a man in faded black. ‘Let the charwoman alone to be the first. old Joe. After a short period of blank astonishment. Scrooge and the Phantom came into the presence of this man.’ ‘You couldn’t have met in a better place. If we haven’t all three met here without meaning it. ‘Come into the parlour. Stop till I shut the door of the shop. in which the old man with the pipe had joined them. and the other two an’t strangers. here’s a chance. There an’t such a rusty bit of metal in the place as its own hinges.
indeed.’ ‘That’s true. put it in his mouth again. the woman who had already spoken threw her bundle on the floor. What odds.’ ‘No. we’re well matched.’ ‘Why then.’ said Mrs Dilber. ‘That’s enough. I suppose. ‘We should hope not. The old man raked the fire together with an old stair-rod.’ ‘No. laughing. 109 of 138 . Come into the parlour. with the stem of his pipe. Who’s the worse for the loss of a few things like these. indeed. and looking with a bold defiance at the other two. I suppose. We’re not going to pick holes in each other’s coats. ‘Every person has a right to take care of themselves.’ ‘Very well.’ said the woman.A Christmas Carol We’re all suitable to our calling. ‘What odds then. woman. and sat down in a flaunting manner on a stool. He always did.’ said Mrs Dilber and the man together. crossing her elbows on her knees. and having trimmed his smoky lamp (for it was night). Come into the parlour. indeed. While he did this. then.’ cried the woman. Mrs Dilber. who’s the wiser. don’t stand staring as if you was afraid.’ said the laundress.’ The parlour was the space behind the screen of rags. Not a dead man. ‘No man more so.
you may depend upon it. before we met here. alone by himself. upon the wall. A seal or two.’ pursued the woman. If he had been.’ and it should have been. if I could have laid my hands on anything else. mounting the breach first.’ why wasn’t he natural in his lifetime.’ replied the woman. Joe.A Christmas Carol ‘If he wanted to keep them after he was dead. a wicked old screw. We know pretty well that we were helping ourselves.’ ‘I wish it was a little heavier judgment. a pair of sleeve-buttons. Open the bundle. I believe. nor afraid for them to see it. instead of lying gasping out his last there. They were severally examined and appraised by old Joe. I’m not afraid to be the first. produced his plunder. and added them up into a total when he found there was nothing more to come. and let me know the value of it. Speak out plain.’ ‘It’s the truest word that ever was spoke.’ But the gallantry of her friends would not allow of this. ‘It’s a judgment on him. a pencil-case. were all. old Joe. and the man in faded black. who chalked the sums he was disposed to give for each. 110 of 138 . he’d have had somebody to look after him when he was struck with Death. It’s no sin. It was not extensive.’ said Mrs Dilber. and a brooch of no great value. Open that bundle.
Joe went down on his knees for the greater convenience of opening it. dragged out a large and heavy roll of some dark stuff.’ ‘You don’t mean to say you took them down.’ said old Joe.’ Mrs Dilber was next.’ replied the woman. ‘What do you call this. a pair of sugar-tongs. and made it an open question. ‘That’s your account. with him lying there.’ ‘And now undo my bundle.’ and I wouldn’t give another sixpence. ‘I always give too much to ladies. if I was to be boiled for not doing it. ‘Yes I do. and edit PDF. rings and all. Sheets and towels. It’s a weakness of mine.’ said Joe.’ ‘Ah.’ said the first woman. ‘That’s your account. ‘Bed-curtains. and that’s the way I ruin myself.’ returned the woman. view.’ said Joe. ‘Why not. and having unfastened a great many knots. two old-fashioned silver teaspoons.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. I’d repent of being so liberal and knock off half-a-crown. ‘Bed-curtains. and a few boots. a little wearing apparel. laughing and leaning forward on her crossed arms. Her account was stated on the wall in the same manner.’ said Joe. If you asked me for another penny. Download the free trial version. Joe.’ 111 of 138 . Who’s next.
‘Don’t you be afraid of that. Eh.’ said old Joe. They’d have wasted it.’ and you’ll certainly do it. stopping in his work.’ returned the woman. if it hadn’t been for me. but you won’t find a hole in it. nor a threadbare place. now. I dare say. If calico an’t good enough for such a purpose. It’s the best he had. you may look through that shirt till your eyes ache. for the sake of such a man as he was. when I can get anything in it by reaching it out.’ replied the woman with a laugh.’ asked old Joe. He can’t look uglier than he did in that one. Ah. and looking up. I promise you. ‘Whose else’s do you think. and a fine one too. if he did.’ returned the woman coolly. ‘Don’t drop that oil upon the blankets. ‘Putting it on him to be buried in.’ said Joe. ‘Somebody was fool enough to do it.’ ‘I certainly shan’t hold my hand. It’s quite as becoming to the body.’ ‘I hope he didn’t die of any thing catching. Joe.A Christmas Carol ‘You were born to make your fortune. to be sure.’ asked Joe.’ ‘What do you call wasting of it.’ ‘His blankets. it isn’t good enough for anything. ‘I an’t so fond of his company that I’d loiter about him for such things. but I took it off again.’ 112 of 138 . ‘He isn’t likely to take cold without them.’ replied the woman.
uncurtained bed: on which. he viewed them with a detestation and disgust. and now he almost touched a bed: a bare. though Scrooge glanced round it in obedience to a secret impulse. which. I see.’ laughed the same woman. marketing the corpse itself. though the demons. anxious to know what kind of room it was. 113 of 138 . now.’ ‘Spirit. ha.’ said Scrooge. rising in the outer air. told out their several gains upon the ground. Merciful Heaven. A pale light. ‘I see. which could hardly have been greater. though it was dumb. producing a flannel bag with money in it. too dark to be observed with any accuracy. The case of this unhappy man might be my own. beneath a ragged sheet. ‘Ha. what is this. when old Joe. you see. fell straight upon the bed. ha. plundered and bereft. in the scanty light afforded by the old man’s lamp. As they sat grouped about their spoil. there lay a something covered up. for the scene had changed.A Christmas Carol Scrooge listened to this dialogue in horror. My life tends that way. shuddering from head to foot. He frightened every one away from him when he was alive. ha. announced itself in awful language. ‘This is the end of it. to profit us when he was dead. and on it. The room was very dark. Ha.’ He recoiled in terror.
thou canst not turn one hair to thy dread purposes. dreadful Death. But of the loved. And see his good deeds springing from the wound. He thought of it. Oh cold. revered. generous. the heart brave. but that the hand was open. and longed to do it. and yet he heard them when he looked upon the bed. would have disclosed the face. It is not that the hand is heavy and will fall down when released. Strike. and tender. The cover was so carelessly adjusted that the slightest raising of it.A Christmas Carol unwatched. to sow the world with life immortal. and honoured head. but had no more power to withdraw the veil than to dismiss the spectre at his side. Its steady hand was pointed to the head. cold. felt how easy it would be to do. strike. what would 114 of 138 . rigid. Shadow. No voice pronounced these words in Scrooge’s ears. set up thine altar here. and true. uncared for. if this man could be raised up now. unwept. He thought. and the pulse a man’s. the motion of a finger upon Scrooge’s part. or make one feature odious. warm. it is not that the heart and pulse are still. was the body of this man. Scrooge glanced towards the Phantom. and dress it with such terrors as thou hast at thy command: for this is thy dominion.
Let us go. griping cares. Scrooge did not dare to think. Spirit. if I could. ‘If there is any person in the town. What they wanted in the room of death.’ Again it seemed to look upon him. and why they were so restless and disturbed. hard-dealing.’ this is a fearful place. ‘Spirit. He lay. truly. 115 of 138 . Spirit. They have brought him to a rich end. A cat was tearing at the door. ‘show that person to me.A Christmas Carol be his foremost thoughts. revealed a room by daylight. like a wing.’ Scrooge returned. I have not the power. or a child. in the dark empty house. a woman. who feels emotion caused by this man’s death.’ said Scrooge quite agonised. ‘I understand you. with not a man.’ and I would do it.’ he said. and for the memory of one kind word I will be kind to him. and there was a sound of gnawing rats beneath the hearth-stone. But I have not the power. to say that he was kind to me in this or that. Avarice. In leaving it. I shall not leave its lesson. I beseech you. and withdrawing it.’ Still the Ghost pointed with an unmoved finger to the head. where a mother and her children were.’ The Phantom spread its dark robe before him for a moment. trust me.
She hurried to the door. ‘there is. and she 116 of 138 . he appeared embarrassed how to answer. and with anxious eagerness. and when she asked him faintly what news (which was not until after a long silence). but she was thankful in her soul to hear it. but in vain. ‘Is it good. ‘or bad?’ — to help him.’ She was a mild and patient creature if her face spoke truth.’ ‘If he relents. a kind of serious delight of which he felt ashamed. ‘We are quite ruined. glanced at the clock. At length the long-expected knock was heard. started at every sound. He sat down to the dinner that had been boarding for him by the fire. Nothing is past hope. if such a miracle has happened. Caroline. and could hardly bear the voices of the children in their play. for she walked up and down the room. amazed.’ ‘No. ‘Bad. and met her husband. There is hope yet.’ said her husband. There was a remarkable expression in it now. looked out from the window. though he was young.’ she said.’ she said. to work with her needle. tried.’ ‘He is past relenting. a man whose face was careworn and depressed. ‘He is dead. and which he struggled to repress.’ he answered.A Christmas Carol She was expecting some one.
will be for ever present to me.’ 117 of 138 . their hearts were lighter. and even though we were not. The children’s faces. turns out to have been quite true. caused by the event.’ said Scrooge. She prayed forgiveness the next moment. then. it would be a bad fortune indeed to find so merciless a creditor in his successor. ‘Let me see some tenderness connected with a death. and was sorry.’ Yes. Soften it as they would. which we left just now.A Christmas Carol said so. said to me. when I tried to see him and obtain a week’s delay. was one of pleasure. and what I thought was a mere excuse to avoid me.’ or that dark chamber.’ ‘To whom will our debt be transferred. We may sleep to-night with light hearts. He was not only very ill. But before that time we shall be ready with the money. The only emotion that the Ghost could show him. and it was a happier house for this man’s death. but dying. were brighter. ‘What the half-drunken woman whom I told you of last night. Spirit. hushed and clustered round to hear what they so little understood. but the first was the emotion of her heart. Caroline. with clasped hands.’ ‘I don’t know.
’ she said. and found the mother and the children seated round the fire. ‘The colour hurts my eyes. the dwelling he had visited before. and as they went along. The colour. and I wouldn’t show 118 of 138 . poor Tiny Tim. Scrooge looked here and there to find himself. and put her hand up to her face. The mother laid her work upon the table. and set him in the midst of them. Quiet. But surely they were very quiet. Ah. as he and the Spirit crossed the threshold.A Christmas Carol The Ghost conducted him through several streets familiar to his feet. The mother and her daughters were engaged in sewing. ‘And he took a child. The boy must have read them out. ‘They’re better now again.’ said Cratchit’s wife. who had a book before him. but nowhere was he to be seen. He had not dreamed them. They entered poor Bob Cratchit’s house. The noisy little Cratchits were as still as statues in one corner. Very quiet. Why did he not go on.’ Where had Scrooge heard those words. ‘It makes them weak by candle-light. and sat looking up at Peter.
Then the two young Cratchits got upon his knees and laid. It must be near his time. shutting up his book. poor fellow — came in.’ She hurried out to meet him.’ Peter answered. as if they said. these few last evenings. that it was no trouble: no trouble. ‘Often.’ They were very quiet again. and little Bob in his comforter — he had need of it.’ ‘And so have I. intent upon her work. His tea was ready for him on the hob. against his face. and in a steady.’ ‘Past it rather.’ exclaimed another. each child a little cheek.’ she resumed.A Christmas Carol weak eyes to your father when he comes home. father. 119 of 138 .’ and his father loved him so.’ cried Peter. At last she said. ‘But I think he has walked a little slower than he used. mother.’ Don’t mind it. He looked at the work upon the table. and they all tried who should help him to it most. ‘But he was very light to carry. for the world.’ ‘And so have I.’ Bob was very cheerful with them. and spoke pleasantly to all the family. that only faltered once: ‘I have known him walk with — I have known him walk with Tiny Tim upon his shoulder. So had all. cheerful voice. Don’t be grieved. very fast indeed. And there is your father at the door.
A Christmas Carol
and praised the industry and speed of Mrs Cratchit and the girls. They would be done long before Sunday, he said. ‘Sunday. You went to-day, then, Robert.’ said his wife. ‘Yes, my dear,’ returned Bob. ‘I wish you could have gone. It would have done you good to see how green a place it is. But you’ll see it often. I promised him that I would walk there on a Sunday. My little, little child.’ cried Bob. ‘My little child.’ He broke down all at once. He couldn’t help it. If he could have helped it, he and his child would have been farther apart perhaps than they were. He left the room, and went up-stairs into the room above, which was lighted cheerfully, and hung with Christmas. There was a chair set close beside the child, and there were signs of some one having been there, lately. Poor Bob sat down in it, and when he had thought a little and composed himself, he kissed the little face. He was reconciled to what had happened, and went down again quite happy. They drew about the fire, and talked; the girls and mother working still. Bob told them of the extraordinary kindness of Mr Scrooge’s nephew, whom he had scarcely seen but once, and who, meeting him in the street that day, and seeing that he looked a little -’ just a little down 120 of 138
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you know,’ said Bob, inquired what had happened to distress him. ‘On which,’ said Bob,’ for he is the pleasantest-spoken gentleman you ever heard, I told him. ‘I am heartily sorry for it, Mr Cratchit,’ he said,’ and heartily sorry for your good wife.’ By the bye, how he ever knew that, I don’t know.’ ‘Knew what, my dear.’ ‘Why, that you were a good wife,’ replied Bob. ‘Everybody knows that.’ said Peter. ‘Very well observed, my boy.’ cried Bob. ‘I hope they do. ‘Heartily sorry,’ he said,’ for your good wife. If I can be of service to you in any way,’ he said, giving me his card,’ that’s where I live. Pray come to me.’ Now, it wasn’t,’ cried Bob,’ for the sake of anything he might be able to do for us, so much as for his kind way, that this was quite delightful. It really seemed as if he had known our Tiny Tim, and felt with us.’ ‘I’m sure he’s a good soul.’ said Mrs Cratchit. ‘You would be surer of it, my dear,’ returned Bob,’ if you saw and spoke to him. I shouldn’t be at all surprised mark what I say. — if he got Peter a better situation.’ ‘Only hear that, Peter,’ said Mrs Cratchit.
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‘And then,’ cried one of the girls,’ Peter will be keeping company with some one, and setting up for himself.’ ‘Get along with you.’ retorted Peter, grinning. ‘It’s just as likely as not,’ said Bob,’ one of these days; though there’s plenty of time for that, my dear. But however and when ever we part from one another, I am sure we shall none of us forget poor Tiny Tim — shall we — or this first parting that there was among us.’ ‘Never, father.’ cried they all. ‘And I know,’ said Bob,’ I know, my dears, that when we recollect how patient and how mild he was; although he was a little, little child; we shall not quarrel easily among ourselves, and forget poor Tiny Tim in doing it.’ ‘No, never, father.’ they all cried again. ‘I am very happy,’ said little Bob,’ I am very happy.’ Mrs Cratchit kissed him, his daughters kissed him, the two young Cratchits kissed him, and Peter and himself shook hands. Spirit of Tiny Tim, thy childish essence was from God. ‘Spectre,’ said Scrooge,’ something informs me that our parting moment is at hand. I know it, but I know not how. Tell me what man that was whom we saw lying dead.’ 122 of 138
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The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come conveyed him, as before — though at a different time, he thought: indeed, there seemed no order in these latter visions, save that they were in the Future — into the resorts of business men, but showed him not himself. Indeed, the Spirit did not stay for anything, but went straight on, as to the end just now desired, until besought by Scrooge to tarry for a moment. ‘This courts,’ said Scrooge,’ through which we hurry now, is where my place of occupation is, and has been for a length of time. I see the house. Let me behold what I shall be, in days to come.’ The Spirit stopped; the hand was pointed elsewhere. ‘The house is yonder,’ Scrooge exclaimed. ‘Why do you point away.’ The inexorable finger underwent no change. Scrooge hastened to the window of his office, and looked in. It was an office still, but not his. The furniture was not the same, and the figure in the chair was not himself. The Phantom pointed as before. He joined it once again, and wondering why and whither he had gone, accompanied it until they reached an iron gate. He paused to look round before entering.
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trembling as he went. or are they shadows of things that May be. Here. ‘But if the courses be departed from. lay underneath the ground. and following the finger. ‘Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point. Ebenezer Scrooge. the wretched man whose name he had now to learn. Say it is thus with what you show me. the ends will change. they must lead.’ Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood. not life. the growth of vegetation’s death. ‘answer me one question.A Christmas Carol A churchyard. choked up with too much burying. and pointed down to One. read upon the stone of the neglected grave his own name. It was a worthy place. Scrooge crept towards it. fat with repleted appetite. The Phantom was exactly as it had been. Walled in by houses. to which.’ The Spirit was immovable as ever. but he dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape.’ said Scrooge. then. A worthy place. He advanced towards it trembling. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be. only. ‘Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends. overrun by grass and weeds. 124 of 138 .’ said Scrooge. if persevered in. The Spirit stood among the graves.
125 of 138 .’ he cried. and detained it. by an altered life. as down upon the ground he fell before it:’ Your nature intercedes for me. tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone.’ he pursued. and pities me. and the Future. and back again. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me. if I am past all hope. I will live in the Past. and try to keep it all the year. The finger pointed from the grave to him. ‘No. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Oh. the Present.’ For the first time the hand appeared to shake.A Christmas Carol ‘Am I that man who lay upon the bed. upon his knees.’ In his agony.’ he cried. Why show me this. stronger yet. It sought to free itself. The Spirit. ‘Spirit. ‘I will honour Christmas in my heart. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.’ The finger still was there. tight clutching at its robe.’ hear me. no. but he was strong in his entreaty. ‘Good Spirit. repulsed him. I am not the man I was. Spirit. Oh no.’ The kind hand trembled. he caught the spectral hand. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.
It shrunk. he saw an alteration in the Phantom’s hood and dress.A Christmas Carol Holding up his hands in a last prayer to have his fate aye reversed. and dwindled down into a bedpost. collapsed. 126 of 138 .
Heaven.’ He was so fluttered and so glowing with his good intentions. He had been sobbing violently in his conflict with the Spirit.A Christmas Carol Stave 5: The End of It Yes! and the bedpost was his own. old Jacob. folding one of his bed-curtains in his arms. mislaying them. the room was his own. on my knees. turning them inside out. Best and happiest of all. ‘They are not torn down. as he scrambled out of bed. They will be. I know they will. tearing them. the Present. may be dispelled. ‘The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. The bed was his own. I say it on my knees. the Time before him was his own. 127 of 138 . They are here — I am here — the shadows of the things that would have been. and the Christmas Time be praised for this. putting them on upside down. that his broken voice would scarcely answer to his call.’ His hands were busy with his garments all this time.’ cried Scrooge. and the Future.’ Scrooge repeated.’ they are not torn down. to make amends in! ‘I will live in the Past. rings and all. making them parties to every kind of extravagance. Oh Jacob Marley. and his face was wet with tears.
’ 128 of 138 .’ Really. Hallo. a most illustrious laugh.’ cried Scrooge. A happy New Year to all the world. for a man who had been out of practice for so many years. Whoop. long line of brilliant laughs. The father of a long. Never mind. Hallo here. by which the Ghost of Jacob Marley entered. sat. starting off again. it was a splendid laugh. I don’t know anything. There’s the corner where the Ghost of Christmas Present. and making a perfect Laocoon of himself with his stockings. There’s the window where I saw the wandering Spirits.’ He had frisked into the sitting-room. I am as giddy as a drunken man.’ cried Scrooge. ‘There’s the saucepan that the gruel was in. Hallo. Whoop. I am as merry as a schoolboy. Hallo here. I am as happy as an angel. It’s all right. ‘I don’t know what day of the month it is. ‘I am as light as a feather. I’m quite a baby. and going round the fireplace. and was now standing there: perfectly winded. it’s all true. ‘There’s the door. I don’t care. laughing and crying in the same breath. I’d rather be a baby. it all happened. A merry Christmas to everybody.A Christmas Carol ‘I don’t know what to do.’ said Scrooge. Ha ha ha. ‘I don’t know how long I’ve been among the Spirits.
’ ‘Hallo. ding.’ replied the boy. No fog. no mist. Heavenly sky. Running to the window.’ ‘It’s Christmas Day. piping for the blood to dance to.’ replied the lad. dong. at the corner. and put out his head. who perhaps had loitered in to look about him. Golden sunlight. in the next street but one. my fine fellow. stirring. ‘I should hope I did. with all his might of wonder.’ returned the boy. ‘What’s to-day. The Spirits have done it all in one night. hammer. ding.’ Scrooge inquired. hammer. cold. bright. Oh. clang. glorious. Glorious. my fine fellow. Oh. sweet fresh air. ‘What’s to-day. Of course they can. cold. Christmas Day. ‘To-day. ‘I haven’t missed it. clash. Of course they can. 129 of 138 . clang. Hallo.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge to himself.’ cried Scrooge. They can do anything they like. dong. ‘Eh. bell. glorious. calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes. he opened it. merry bells.’ returned the boy. jovial. ‘Do you know the Poulterer’s. ‘Why. clear. Clash. glorious.A Christmas Carol He was checked in his transports by the churches ringing out the lustiest peals he had ever heard. Bell.
Come back with him in less than five minutes and I’ll give you half-a-crown. ‘I am in earnest. ‘Go and buy it. ‘A remarkable boy. and I’ll give you a shilling. Go and buy it.’ returned the boy. somehow.A Christmas Carol ‘An intelligent boy.’ ‘It’s hanging there now.’ said Scrooge. but write it he did. rubbing his hands.’ said Scrooge. It’s twice the size of Tiny Tim. ‘I’ll send it to Bon Cratchit’s. and went 130 of 138 .’ ‘What. and tell them to bring it here. and splitting with a laugh. ‘It’s a pleasure to talk to him. Do you know whether they’ve sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there — Not the little prize Turkey: the big one. my buck.’ exclaimed the boy. that I may give them the direction where to take it.’ The hand in which he wrote the address was not a steady one. ‘He shan’t know who sends it. ‘Is it. ‘No.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. Come back with the man.’ whispered Scrooge. no. the one as big as me. He must have had a steady hand at a trigger who could have got a shot off half so fast.’ The boy was off like a shot. Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending it to Bob’s will be. ‘What a delightful boy.’ ‘Walk-er.’ replied the boy. Yes.
’ said Scrooge. 131 of 138 .’ The chuckle with which he said this. ready for the coming of the poulterer’s man. and the chuckle with which he paid for the Turkey. it’s impossible to carry that to Camden Town. As he stood there. What an honest expression it has in its face. Shaving was not an easy task. he would have put a piece of sticking-plaster over it. that bird. He would have snapped them short off in a minute. It’s a wonderful knocker. the knocker caught his eye. He never could have stood upon his legs. — Here’s the Turkey. Whoop. Merry Christmas. and been quite satisfied. and the chuckle with which he recompensed the boy. ‘You must have a cab. and the chuckle with which he paid for the cab.’ cried Scrooge. and chuckled till he cried.’ It was a Turkey. for his hand continued to shake very much. as long as I live. Hallo. How are you. even when you don’t dance while you are at it. and shaving requires attention. patting it with his hand.A Christmas Carol down-stairs to open the street door. waiting his arrival. But if he had cut the end of his nose off. ‘I shall love it. ‘I scarcely ever looked at it before. ‘Why. were only to be exceeded by the chuckle with which he sat down breathless in his chair again. like sticks of sealing-wax.
Allow me to ask your pardon. ‘How do you do. sir. ‘My dear sir.’ Good morning.’ ‘Mr Scrooge.’ Scrooge and Marley’s. He had not gone far. He looked so irresistibly pleasant. ‘That is my name. in a word. quickening his pace. A merry Christmas to you. I believe. those were the blithest in his ears. And 132 of 138 . and he took it. that of all the blithe sounds he had ever heard.’ It sent a pang across his heart to think how this old gentleman would look upon him when they met. who had walked into his counting-house the day before.A Christmas Carol He dressed himself all in his best. as he had seen them with the Ghost of Christmas Present. It was very kind of you.’ ‘Yes. Scrooge regarded every one with a delighted smile. that three or four goodhumoured fellows said. and taking the old gentleman by both his hands. and I fear it may not be pleasant to you. and at last got out into the streets. when coming on towards him he beheld the portly gentleman. and said. but he knew what path lay straight before him. I hope you succeeded yesterday.’ said Scrooge. The people were by this time pouring forth. sir.’ said Scrooge. and walking with his hands behind him.’ And Scrooge said often afterwards. A merry Christmas to you.
’ ‘Don’t say anything please.’ said Scrooge. and up to the windows. ‘Lord bless me. 133 of 138 . In the afternoon he turned his steps towards his nephew’s house. shaking hands with him. ‘Not a farthing less. ‘I am much obliged to you. Bless you. and watched the people hurrying to and fro. as if his breath were taken away. and patted children on the head. He had never dreamed that any walk — that anything — could give him so much happiness.’ ‘I will. ‘Come and see me. Will you do me that favour.A Christmas Carol will you have the goodness’ — here Scrooge whispered in his ear. are you serious.’ ‘My dear sir. and questioned beggars. And it was clear he meant to do it. I thank you fifty times. and looked down into the kitchens of houses. A great many back-payments are included in it. Will you come and see me.’ ‘If you please. ‘Thank you.’ He went to church.’ cried the gentleman. ‘My dear Mr Scrooge. ‘I don’t know what to say to such munificence.’ retorted Scrooge. and found that everything could yield him pleasure. I assure you.’ cried the old gentleman.’ said the other. and walked about the streets.’ said Scrooge.
But he made a dash.A Christmas Carol He passed the door a dozen times.’ said Scrooge. ‘Why bless my soul. about her sitting in the corner with the footstool.’ said Scrooge.’ He turned it gently.’ said Scrooge to the girl.’ ‘Where is he. with his hand already on the dining-room lock. He knows me. sir. if you please. I’ll show you up-stairs.’ who’s that.’ cried Fred. Nice girl. on any account. Dear heart alive. round the door.’ ‘Thank you. Scrooge had forgotten. ‘He’s in the dining-room. ‘I’ll go in here. before he had the courage to go up and knock. and like to see that everything is right. ‘Yes. for these young housekeepers are always nervous on such points. They were looking at the table (which was spread out in great array). along with mistress. my love. my dear. my dear. ‘Fred. sir. Very. or he wouldn’t have done it.’ said Scrooge.’ 134 of 138 . how his niece by marriage started. for the moment. and sidled his face in. and did it: ‘Is your master at home.
he did. and edit PDF. Wonderful party. he was early there. and catch Bob Cratchit coming late. that he might see him come into the Tank. Scrooge sat with his door wide open. view. So did every one when they came. He was full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. as near as he could feign it.’ 135 of 138 .eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. wonderful happiness.’ said Bob. wonderful games. His hat was off. his comforter too. That was the thing he had set his heart upon. No Bob. Your uncle Scrooge. Fred. His niece looked just the same. So did the plump sister when she came. wonderful unanimity.’ growled Scrooge. A quarter past. I have come to dinner. in his accustomed voice. Nothing could be heartier.’ ‘I am very sorry. Oh. ‘What do you mean by coming here at this time of day. ‘Hallo. It is a mercy he didn’t shake his arm off. yes. No Bob. But he was early at the office next morning. sir. He was on his stool in a jiffy. driving away with his pen. ‘I am behind my time. And he did it. The clock struck nine. before he opened the door. If he could only be there first. So did Topper when he came. Will you let me in. Download the free trial version.’ Let him in. as if he were trying to overtake nine o’clock. ‘It’s I. He was at home in five minutes.
as he clapped him on the back. Bob. over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop. appearing from the Tank. holding him. and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i. leaping from his stool. than I have given you for many a year. I’ll raise your salary.’ and therefore I am about to raise your salary. if you please. And therefore. ‘Yes.’ I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. Step this way. He had a momentary idea of knocking Scrooge down with it. and endeavour to assist your struggling family. sir. ‘It shall not be repeated.’ ‘Now.’ repeated Scrooge. Bob. Bob Cratchit.’ said Scrooge. and got a little nearer to the ruler. I was making rather merry yesterday.’ Bob trembled.’ 136 of 138 . and calling to the people in the court for help and a strait-waistcoat.’ pleaded Bob. my good fellow. with an earnestness that could not be mistaken.A Christmas Carol ‘You are.’ ‘It’s only once a year.’ said Scrooge. ‘A merry Christmas. I think you are. and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon. I’ll tell you what. Make up the fires. and giving Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that he staggered back into the Tank again. my friend.’ he continued. sir. Bob. ‘A merrier Christmas. sir.
if any man alive possessed the knowledge. and all of us! And so. or borough. as the good old city knew. God bless Us. for good. He did it all. that he knew how to keep Christmas well. for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him. May that be truly said of us. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him. as Tiny Tim observed. who did not die. but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle. He became as good a friend. and to Tiny Tim. he was a second father. and infinitely more. or any other good old city. and it was always said of him. in the good old world. Every One! 137 of 138 . at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset. and as good a man.A Christmas Carol Scrooge was better than his word. but he let them laugh. town. as have the malady in less attractive forms. and little heeded them. he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins. as good a master. and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway. ever afterwards. He had no further intercourse with Spirits.
A Christmas Carol 138 of 138 .
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